It was my wife’s family reunion in Vancouver, Canada. In addition to her extended family, we had two guests, the uncle of a close physician colleague of mine in Los Angeles and his wife. He was Egyptian and two days earlier, my family and I met him and his wife for the first time for a wonderful brunch. Later, we received a tour of his chocolate factory and received tasty samples. At the end of the day, we invited him to join my wife’s family reunion, held two days later.
As the food was laid out on the serving tables at the reunion, my sister in law was scooping the burnt rice from the bottom of the rice cooker. All of us gathered around her, anticipating the treat. Our new friend and his wife were intrigued over what we are doing and when I showed them the prized brown kernels of burnt rice, he laughed and exclaimed, “We have that too! We call it pasha! We fight over it too!”
Egyptians call it pasha.
Japanese call it koge.
Koreans call it nurungji.
Chinese call it guoba.
Filipinos call it tutong.
Persians call it tahdig.
Whatever the language or culture, everyone fights over the burnt rice!
We were Christians, Muslims, Arabs, Persians, Asians, and Caucasians-all gathered together for a meal and a joyous celebration. Whatever differences we had, the only conflict that was important was who was going to get a portion of the burnt rice!
If only everyone could focus upon the things that unite us rather than divide us!
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26-28 (NLT)
This unity begins within the Christian Church. If we are unable to put aside petty concerns that divide the Body of Christ, we will not be able to focus upon our true mission, to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and His offer of salvation and eternal life for all who confess and repent of their sins and accept Him as Lord and Savior. Like the love we all have for the burnt rice, the love that all true Christians have for Jesus Christ should unite us as one, transcending the language and cultural differences. This is not an option. This is the command of the Word of God.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.