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    Diversity: Can Any Good Thing Come Out of Nazareth?

    Standing in Nazareth's Basilica of the Annunciation, I gazed up at mosaics from all over the world. These works depicted the Virgin Mary with Jesus, and in each case Jesus bore the ethnic identity of the predominate group in the gifting country. That is, the art from Ecuador showed Jesus as Ecuadorian; the work from Japan, as Japanese; and the one from Thailand, as Thai. The baby Jesus from Slovenia even had red hair. The mosaics’ creators made these localized images to remind viewers that Jesus is “one of us”—which he is. Yet so many artists have depicted Jesus as white for so long with such far-reaching influence that many…

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    Forgiving Each Other

    “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV) bold and italics mine   I know resentment and forgiveness don’t mix. If anything, resentment leads to bitterness. And guess what? Bitterness loves to mess up our hearts. I don't know about you, but it does very strange things to me.    God did not hardwire me to walk around carrying heavy grudges or unbearable burdens. Eventually, they will take a toll on my life. Others around me will suffer the consequences of my ungracious heart.   What if forgiving feels like an impossibility? How can we know we’ve forgiven…