Proverbs 22:2 Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.
I have a feeling that this verse is pointing towards the problem of favouritism that places the status of one individual, or one society or even someone’s opinion over that of another. Here are two stories that illustrate such differences.
In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that during his student days he read the Gospels seriously and considered converting to Christianity. He believed that in Jesus he could find the solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India. So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby church and talk to the minister about becoming a Christian. When he entered the sanctuary, however, the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested that he go worship with his own people. Gandhi left the church and never returned, “If Christians have caste differences also, “ he said, “I might as well remain a Hindu.” That usher’s prejudice not only betrayed Jesus but also turned a person away from trusting Him as Saviour.
The second story perhaps gives us some help in the way that we deal with any notion of superiority.
Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, was angered by an army officer who accused him of favouritism. Stanton complained to Lincoln, who suggested that Stanton write the officer a sharp letter. Stanton did, and showed the strongly worded letter to the president. “What are you going to do with it?” Lincoln inquired. Surprised, Stanton replied, “Send it.” Lincoln shook his head. “You don’t want to send that letter,” he said. “Put it in the stove. That’s what I do when I have written a letter while I am angry. It’s a good letter and you had a good time writing it and feel better. Now burn it, and write another.”
Almighty God, through your Holy Spirit you created unity in the midst of diversity;
We acknowledge that human diversity is an expression of your manifold love for your creation;
We confess that in our brokenness as human beings we turn diversity into a source of alienation, injustice, oppression, and wounding.
Empower us to recognise and celebrate differences as your great gift to the human family.
Enable us to be the architects of understanding, of respect and love;
Through the Lord, the ground of all unity, we pray. Amen