Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One

Wholeness. Integrity. Unity. Oneness.
There is a common thread in scripture of oneness. God is one. The church should be unified. A follower of Christ is called to a life of integrity. Christ died to make what is broken, whole; what is divided, unified.

An important note, unity does not mean uniformity. We can be one in Christ without being the exact same person. God has created each of us as unique members, parts of the whole, who only by working together can accomplish his mission.

Lately, I have been hearing a lot of Christians talking about a particular struggle we face, prioritizing our time. On the one hand, there is individual reflection and prayer, alone time with God. On the other hand, there is developing and strengthening relationships with other members of our Christ centered communities. And on the other other hand, there is reaching out into the hurting world, being salt and light and bringing the good news to those who need to hear it. We are running out of hands. There is a solution: integrate these rhythms of life. There are times to focus more closely on each, but often as not we could do a devotion with a friend, or spend time with Christian friends as well as non-Christian friends. Christ has broken down the walls even between these different aspects of loving and serving him. We can't allow ourselves to be caught up in this lie where we have to compartmentalize our lives as Christ followers.

Practically this means we need to be mindful of opportunities. Sometimes our sabbath rest can be spent engaging our neighbors who we want to get to know. Sometimes bringing shalom into the world can be done side by side with people from our churches and people who are just interested in social justice. We must allow the gospel to soak into every aspect of our lives, acknowledging that it is so much bigger than we often give it credit for, and so much better. Knowing these things, we can love God and love each other and love our neighbors better. And our city will know that we are Christians by our love.

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