Editorial – Unity in Diversity – Dr Eleasa Sieh

You are part of the embodiment of the spiritual reality of the ‘body of Christ’.


From Luke’s Journal May 2023  |  Vol.28 No.2  |  Unity in Diversity 

Image by the Author

If you’re reading this publication, you’ve likely come across ‘compassion fatigue’, either as a healthcare professional or as a Christian.

At some point, each of us has faced the reality of our own creatureliness (ie. the limitations that have been placed on us by a Creator God) when faced with the countless needs in our world filled with the materially, relationally and spiritually poor. But, have you ever considered that our limitations are good because they affirm the truth and beauty of unity in diversity in the body?

Kelly M. Kapic explores this in his book You’re Only Human.1 The reality that we are created in the image of God as embodied beings and that Jesus dwelt among us in the flesh affirms the goodness of the limitations of a body in perfected creation. When the complexity and diversity of the body’s various members work together in concert to support and sustain life, we see unity in diversity on an individual level. This is the embodiment of the spiritual reality of the ‘body of Christ’ metaphor from Paul’s epistle to the Romans and the Corinthians.

So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
(Romans 12:5)

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)

Perhaps ‘compassion fatigue’ should cause us to consider whether we are pushing up against our God-given limitations, and help us to turn to dependence on the grace of God, as well as His grace through the body of Christ.

Kapic writes, “It shouldn’t surprise us […] that those who are filled with the Spirit of God are inclined to help a hurting world in all kinds of creative ways, including words and deeds. […] Bearing witness to this God, we do not pit the material against the spiritual, but recognise Him as the Lord of it all […] Accepting our finitude and affirming our interdependence as the people of God moves us from guilt to liberty, from being overwhelmed to being energised, from passivity to activity. God never expected each of us to do everything – He is the one who gave us our limits, after all. He also uniquely gifted and called each of us to some form of service and love.”

Similarly, CMDFA is an expression of the body of Christ, composed of a multitude of members, each with their particular ‘sphere of influence’. Whilst each individual can’t be all things to all people, we can be the person to bring our individual presence – bodily skills, mind of knowledge and experiences, heart of compassion, posture of humility, and oneness with Christ – to another individual person.

And so this issue represents the different parts of the body that is CMDFA, a fellowship of members working in healthcare in its various forms and places, whether in the hospital, in the community, or in the church. As a part of CMDFA, we can be part of “becoming all things to all people so that by all possible means” some are saved (1 Cor 9:12). But this unity must be grounded in Christ, as Dr Andrew Williams reminds us in the opening article, “Unity in What?”

A diversity of people groups exists at our very own doorstep, whether regional or urban, and this plurality of cultures requires a humility in collaborating with the other nations we find ourselves working amongst. We hear about the experience of an immigrant doctor serving the Chinese immigrant population in urban New South Wales, how an international medical student’s faith sustained her time in Australia and now working back overseas, and how it’s possible for non-Christians and Christians from different nations to work together for the common good of a neighbour. Our national chair, Dr Sneha Kirubakaran, raises our awareness of ‘geographical narcissism’ in her article “Unity in Regional Diversity” and calls for our fellowship to seek connection with our brothers and sisters working regionally but also for more inclusion of event locations on the western seaboard.

We see our members working amongst diverse people groups. Read about an Indigenous doctor’s lived and working experience with Indigenous peoples in this country, warning us not to forget the diversity that exists across these lands we call Australia. There is unity in diversity working in academic research, as a nurse in Palliative Care, a veterinarian doctor, a speech pathologist, and we also see the moral injuries sustained by a personal care worker in aged care working with trans-identifying men.

As a fellowship, we also seek to invite more of the world’s people groups into the body of Christ. To that end, a CMDFA missionary member is choosing to pursue frontier missions and shares their story of why they have recently moved to a remote place to reach an unreached people group in the mountains.

CMDFA is also part of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA), and you’ll hear from ICMDA Oceania representative Theodorus Hedwin as he reflects on his experience as a delegate at this year’s VISION student leadership conference in Burleigh Heads, which included delegates from New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Have a behind-the-scenes peek at how the diversity that exists within the Luke’s Journal editorial team works together to publish an issue, and how a diversity of personalities can be understood and used by God in the global Church in a book review of Naomi Reed’s “Over My Shoulder.” Lastly, you will also find a review of a memoir recently written by Dr Paul Mercer, co-founder of Luke’s Journal, who grew up in remote Australia living and working amongst the Indigenous people to bring the same heart of compassion into the skills as an urban generalist.“God created us for mutual dependence and delight within a life-giving community: that isn’t merely a goal; it’s how we are built.”1

Would you consider becoming part of the CMDFA branch of the global Church as part of your sacrificial service to a world in need of grace and truth and life in Jesus? In that, may you be built up in mutual dependence and delight as part of this life-giving community

Dr Eleasa Sieh
Dr Eleasa Sieh works as a GP in a Brisbane clinic that is aiming to expand its relative diversity of ethnicities for the good of the community it serves in. Lately, she’s been enjoying exchanging recommendations for local Korean eateries with her Thai colleague – her latest favourite dish being naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles).


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  1. Kapic, KM. You’re Only Human. Michigan: Bazos Press; January 2022