There is beauty in diversity and unity that needs to be celebrated and shared. To celebrate this belief, my church starts off youth group each new year with a fruit salad night. This quickly became many of my youth’s favorite night.
Everyone brought their favorite fruit to add to the fruit salad. We never planned it out or discussed who would bring what other than, “bring your favorite fruit.” As you can imagine over the years, we had some fascinating and interesting fruit in our salad!
We would sit in a circle, share a prayer for our new year and read 1Corinthian 12: 12-27 and discuss what it meant, how it related to our group, and what the connection was to our fruit salad. This was the perfect opportunity to talk about our individual gifts and how they contributed to making our youth group unique. This was a special time for many of the young people; many realized for the first time that there was more to them than what they believed from their school experiences.
Chapter ten of Timothy’s Adventures takes a spin on our youth group nights by having Timothy and his friends share both the fruit salad and the lesson in a park with a new friend, Naila. The character of Naila comes from a conversation with a dear friend of mine. It is our prayer that by sharing this chapter and discussion section with you, young people will learn to talk openly about our differences allowing us to speak up, stand up, and intervene when we see people bullying others for being different.
Being united in our diversity is a beautiful thing and should be celebrated! God loves diversity, just look at His gardens…