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The World is One Family

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:4-5 NIV)

Unity in Diversity is a phrase that signifies the unity among people with diverse cultural, and religious beliefs, social statuses, and other demographic differences. Unity refers to a sense of togetherness and integration. Diversity is a natural phenomenon that fosters a variety of perspectives, experiences, and acceptance among people.

The Biblical narrative begins with the creation story, where God creates and blesses the world, declaring it to be good (Gen. 1:1, 21-22, 27-28, 2:3). The creation of humans, both male and female, emphasizes the idea that all human beings belong to one family, starting with the first human family: Adam and Eve, who were created in the image of God and are considered the ancestral parents of all human beings. This story highlights the common origin of all people, made in the likeness of God, while also acknowledging the alienation of human beings from God due to the sin of Adam and Eve. God establishes a covenant for all living creatures on earth through Noah, symbolized by the rainbow, as a sign of His everlasting covenant (Gen 9:12-16). This emphasizes God’s universal providence and protection for all living beings on the earth. Additionally, the narrative emphasizes that natural resources such as water, air, the sun, and the moon are meant to be beneficial to all human beings, demonstrating God’s impartial care for all.

The entire human family once shared one language and a common speech, but the Lord intervened by confusing their language and scattering them across the earth (Gen. 11:1, 11:8). The history of Israel begins with Abraham, recognized as the father of many nations (Gen. 17:5).

Israel Selvanayagam argues that the primary fundamental affirmation from the Bible and the Christian creed is that God is the creator of Heaven, Earth, and All peoples. The Hebrew Bible calls Israel, the People of God, with whom God made a covenant after liberating them from thefrom the Egyptian slavery and said ‘I will be your God and you shall be my people.’

There are two aspects: one is God is the God of the whole earth, and by implication, the God of all peoples. The other is God is God of the Israelites, with the condition of keeping God’s commandments. The purpose of the commandment in all its variety is to establish a community based on justice, peace, and love, which aims to be which are repeated in different combinations throughout the Bible (Ex. 19:5-6, Lev. 26:12 NIV).

“Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्)” is a Sanskrit phrase that translates to “The world is one family” (AV-Maha Upanishad VI.71-73), Vasudha (Skt. वसुधा) means ‘The Earth,’ Eva (Skt. एव) translates to ‘Is Thus,’ Kutumbakam (Skt. कुटुम्बकम्) means ‘Family.’ This ancient Indian saying conveys the idea that the entire world is interconnected and that all people are part of a single global family. Our world is divided by race, language, religion, ethnicity, continents, countries, states or provinces, and further divided in terms of economic power: developed and developing countries, and the third world countries. The theme for the G20 Summit 2023 is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: One Earth, One Family, and One Future.” This theme aptly captures India’s outlook and emphasizes the interconnectedness of all nations. It highlights the need for nations to work together to address common challenges such as climate change, economic disparities, and global health crises. The theme promotes a vision of a more inclusive and harmonious world, where nations collaborate for the collective well-being of humanity.

The Global Church: the family of God (as “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”):

At present, the world has become one big family. Though the traditional idea of a family consisting of a husband, wife, and children sometimes extended to the grandparent still exists. All humans are the offspring of the first man and woman (Adam and Eve) on the earth. Today we, as humans, are found everywhere in the world but we should not forget that we are from one father and mother, so we are not and can never be diverse from one another. The Church is a great model of Unity in diversity that signifies the unity among believers with diverse cultural, and religious beliefs, social statuses, and other demographic differences. Our triune God sets an example of unity, equality and feeling of togetherness and amalgamation in oneness.

Key elements to promote unity in diversity through the following areas:

1. Expanding the Notion of Family views the entire world as an extended family, fostering a profound sense of belonging and responsibility towards all beings, irrespective of their differences.
2. Universal Brotherhood promotes empathy, compassion for all humans, and the interconnectedness of all people as part of one global family, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or religion.
3. Compassion and Empathy involves recognizing the shared humanity and being sensitive to the needs, struggles, sufferings, and joys of all living beings. It is important to cultivate compassion and empathy in order to take collective action to alleviate suffering and promote well-being.
4. Ethical Values such as honesty, integrity, accountability, empathy, respect, kindness, and inclusivity, serve as a moral compass for individuals and societies to treat others with dignity and respect.
5. Peace and Harmony promotes the idea of shared humanity and urges individuals, communities, and nations to collaborate in resolving conflicts peacefully and creating a more peaceful world.
6. Global Responsibility involves the collective responsibility of the global community for the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants. It urges both individuals and nations to take responsibility for tackling global issues such as poverty, climate change, and inequality.

In Conclusion, UESI, as one family of students, graduates and staff, promotes peace, love, tolerance, unity, respect, compassion, and cooperation. UESI thrust area – ‘Caring and Growing’ for 2021-24 gives the sense of one family of God and the opportunity to nurture caring and growing together. As God’s one family, let us inherit God’s blessings by loving one another and living in unity as one family. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph 4:5-6 NIV). May God continue to bless the UESI family! Amen!

Mr. Ram Pal Narwal, former UESI Staff, presently pursuing his M.Th-Religion at Gurukul Seminary, Chennai, TN. He was an EU student at Karnal, HR (2002 to 2004), UESI Staff (2004 to 2022). He is married to Mrs. Daisy K Rampal, UESI Staff, based at Haryana.

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