The lyrics go,
"One of these things is not like the other;
one of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell me which one is not like the other, before I finish my song?"
I asked the participants, "Which one doesn't belong?"
They all pointed to the cell phone.
"Wrong," I corrected, "because from left to right, we have a green apple, a tomato, a red apple, and....an Apple Smartphone. Three apples and a tomato."
Taking away the cell phone, and apologizing for my trickery, I did the same little jingle, again asking, "Of the two apples and the tomato, which one doesn't belong?"
One child picked the green apple, because the other two are red. Another child picked the tomato because the other two are apples. So who is right? Can both perspectives be right, or are they both wrong?
My real point was this: who are we to say, "You don't belong." And what do we base our criteria on but outer, visual clues. And how accurate can that be? Can we respect our differences, but more importantly, can we cherish our similarities and common ground?
"Unity" was the theme today. Other translations of Psalm 133:1 use synonyms like "harmony," and "get along," and "peace." Unity is not conformity or homogeneous groupings. It's also quite rare in our society, which is probably why the Psalmist held up the unity of God's people as "precious." When it does occur, no matter how rare, those moments when we find we can exist, maybe even thrive, together in unity.
Drawing on old memories from playing my trumpet in the pit orchestra at the Community Theater in Albert Lea, Minnesota, quoting from the end of the musical, "Camelot," King Arthur holds that precious, shining moment when the kingdom lived in unity,
"Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot!"