One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
Not a recording of Julie Andrews on Broadway, guys, but the version with Brandy, Whitney Houston, and Whoopie Goldberg. The version where a black Cinderella falls in love with a Filipino prince who has a white father and none of the cast members bother to ask why Bernadette Peters is Veanne Cox’s and Natalie Desselle’s mother.
I remember watching the movie at my ninth birthday, mesmerized until one of the partygoers quipped, “This is ridiculous.”
Okay, so, it is, but my multi-ethnic musical dreams were dashed with her commentary.
In the opening pages of United, Trillia lays out a vision for diversity within the church. Far from the fanciful fairy dust thrown around in the magical world of Disney, the hope for this unity comes from the uniting blood of Christ. She opens the Introduction with a beautiful picture of a multi-ethnic, Gospel-motivated body of believers, that includes Pastor Lewis with his afro, Amy with her blue eyes, Elizabeth and Mike with their three children, two adopted from Africa, one adopted from Cambodia, and the Japanese transplant Isamu. But as the vision of this place begins to solidify, she stops:
“Perhaps it’s apparent simply by my descriptions of this body of believers that this is not reality; it’s my dream. If you and I think about the various local churches that we’ve been part of over the course of our lives, few (if any) have come even remotely close to what I’ve described.” (p. 14)
The truth settles in like my party-pooper, tempting us to cry out a discouraged, “This is ridiculous.”
But, is it?
Shouldn’t the blood of Christ be able to bring us to a state of togetherness as we partake in the family of faith?
And if so, where do we begin?
Is the topic of diversity in the church an important one to broach in our day and age?
Do you think conversations about diversity will be helpful?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.