What’s your favorite kind of cereal? I’m gonna cheat and say that I have a tie for the number one spot in my cupboard. First is Cookie Crisp. I know, it’s dessert for breakfast, but it’s so good. Number two is Cracklin Oat Bran. It’s like saw dust pressure-packed into little o’s with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled in. Sounds gross but trust me, it’s fantastic. I’ve always been a huge cereal fan. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and it’s a simple recipe—just add milk. I wrote a paper in college on why cereal is the greatest food ever. And it’s because of this simple fact: I could eat cereal for every meal of every day for a month and never have the same flavor twice…but still be eating cereal.
I wonder if God thinks of us (people) like cereal. I bet He does. We’re all so different, aren’t we? We’re racially different. We’re socio-economically different. We’re culturally different. We are all kinds of different. And yet, we’re all still human. There’s more diversity in humanity than any aisle in your grocery store but we all fall under the same category. But here’s what kicks it up a notch: God made it that way. He’s that creative. He’s that impressive. Which means He loves us way more than we could ever possibly love cereal. And when you factor in that we so often reject Him and His love, it makes it all the more breathtaking. Think about it: if your cereal turned on you and decided it didn’t want to be your cereal anymore…into the garbage disposal it would go, right? But that’s not what God did with us; because He loves us more than we could possibly love cereal.
Instead, he sent his son to save us. That’s love. No matter what flavor we are, He loves us enough to allow His son to be brutally murdered on our behalf. I’ve grown up going to church my entire life and need reminding of this mind-boggling truth regularly. And when the news is full of stories about division and hate, I need reminding all the more. We’re different but the same. We’re diverse but loved by the One who made us that way. I’m trying to become a person that looks at the diversity in humanity like I do my cereal and appreciate it for it’s diversity. Listen, Cheerios are no gourmet meal, but what makes them great is the fact that the next time you have cereal, it might be something different. Cereal is great because it’s so vast in it’s manifestations. Why not appreciate God’s creativity in us with the same bend?
Listen to God’s words through Paul: I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone (1 Timothy 2:1-6).
All people. Everyone. Humanity. If every heartbeat on the planet matters so much to God that He’d go to the great lengths He did to reconcile us to Himself, then they’d better matter to us. So today, let’s be a community of people that lives as citizens of the Kingdom—a wonderfully diverse Kingdom—by loving it for being that way. Let’s be people who bridge the gap when there’s division, just like Jesus bridged the gap between us and God. Let’s be different from the world.
After serving as the Student Ministries Pastor for 10 years, Josh Petersen is now the Lead Pastor of Immanuel Church. He’s married to Heidi and together they live with Jake, Logan, Cole and Sawyer at the circus they call home.