Although Christians claim that we believe the Holy Spirit to be one with God, our living often follows a binary instead of a Trinitarian faith. We pray to God our Creator. We affirm confidence in the redeeming living, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But the Holy Spirit gets much less attention. And when we manage to think about the Holy Spirit, we may focus on New Testament passages entirely.
To many people, diversity and unity are conflicting ideas. In their minds, the way to have unity, strength, peace, and harmony lies in sameness. People who hold this view believe that peace, harmony, and prosperity is most likely to happen if people share the same beliefs about life, come from the same tribal or ethnic group, follow the same form of government, spend the same currency, and generally avoid involvements with people outside their group. Safety lies, according to this view, in sameness. Outsiders—meaning people who are different—are feared, distrusted, and run the risk of being branded threats to peace. Diversity is cause for anxiety.
Christianity largely owes its start in Europe to two women mentioned in Acts 16—Lydia, the woman who owned her own business selling purple clothing to wealthy purchasers and this un-named slave woman whose exorcism triggered the first public conflict between the followers of Jesus and the established order. Lydia was the first European convert to Christianity. Her house became the base of operations for the apostles. We do not know anything else about the woman who was freed of the demonic spirit that had made her commercially useful for her owners.
Most of the major world religions have some belief concerning the afterlife, so Christianity is not alone when it affirms hope in a blessed future. One of the challenges we face as Christians, however, comes because we have chosen to read what Revelation 21 says about the new heaven and new earth without accepting that it is really about more than our personal futures.
We appreciate your support whether the amount is great or small. It will all be used to further the kingdom of God.