The city of Toronto is the most diverse city in the world. In fact, “Almost three-quarters of Torontonians aged 15 or older have direct ties to immigration. About one-half (52%) are themselves immigrants while another 22% are 2nd generation immigrants with at least one parent born outside of Canada.” (Source: Immigrants in Canada’s Census Metropolitan Areas – Grant Schellenberg, Statistics Canada).
We pride ourselves on our multiculturalism in Canada but when it comes down to day-to-day living we have become “a community of communities,” as former Prime Minister Joe Clark called us.
That means in Toronto we have enclaves—Greektown, Little Italy, Little India, Chinatown, and the list goes on. Having the opportunity to explore different cultures through food, shopping and festivals is part of what makes living in Toronto so wonderful.
But can we go beyond that? Can we imagine what it is like to live out Paul’s vision in Galatians 3? There he says, “In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Surely this vision travels against the flow, against our natural inclination to find people like ourselves with whom we can feel comfortable. Surely it calls for radical change in our thinking and actions—that we take the high road, not the easy road.
Does this mean leaving behind our differences and coming together into a bland, middle space? Not at all. It means coming together in all our diversity, with all that we have to share, and together in Christ becoming something greater, something reflective of his love and joy, into the picture John paints in Revelation of every nation, tribe, people and language praising God together.
At St. Luke’s that’s what we’re striving to become. Jesus draws us further along the road, out of our comfort zone. He makes us want to be a better congregation, a better people, with his heart, living ‘Love,’ the other name for his Father. Are we there yet? No. Do we need your help? Yes. Imagine with us moving beyond a community of communities to a community truly united in the Christ we serve, bearing with each other in love as we grow, as we stumble, as we journey with him.
Artwork: John Mardon