E Pluribus Unum

“Out of Many, One”

Official rendering of the obverse side of the ...
The Great Seal of the United States.

The motto on the Great Seal of the United States of America, embossed on every US coin, describes the American conundrum: are we a federation of independent states or a unified people?

While originally used to explain the various nationalities who emigrated to become these United States, and later the union of thirteen colonies, now it seems to describe the question: Are we a collection of people, with strong individual rights? Or are we one people with one purpose, united behind one mission? Is citizenship an individual event or a team sport?

A driver passing me on a quiet country road reminded me of this question. Much of this road has a posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour, but while this road passes through a small town and over a series of hills the speed limit drops to 30. Should the speed we drive be limited by how fast each person perceives they can drive or at least get away with, or should the speed we drive be governed by concern with those who live on the road and who, through their representatives, set those speed limits?

God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others. If one part of our body hurts, we hurt all over. If one part of our body is honored, the whole body will be happy.
Together you are the body of Christ. Each one of you is part of his body.

1 Corinthians 12:24b-27 (Contemporary English Version)

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