Archive for January, 2011

I’ve recently started attending a new [house] church. New, not because of any dissatisfaction with a previous church, but because I moved to the other side of the world and am finally settling in to relationships with others in the faith.

It’s a good feeling.

Last night there were a handful of Chinese people there, and as we read through Luke chapter 8 together we took it in turns to read each section, first in English and then in Chinese. I had absolutely no idea which of the spoken Chinese words corresponded to the English words on the page, but I just couldn’t get over how incredibly beautiful it was hearing the Word of God spoken in an unfamiliar language.

It got me thinking about the body of Christ and what it really looks like. So often it can seem like looking in the mirror – a bunch of people hanging out together who have the same skin color, language, cultural heritage, and who tend to behave in like fashion. But that’s not it at all.

The true church is made up of every race and language, culture and people group. People who may or may not get along, who may or may not see eye to eye on each and every issue. But this they have in common – they love the Lord their God with all their hearts, and He is their sure salvation (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).

Sometimes the differences between us aren’t as obvious as the stark contrasts between languages. And sometimes the differences are that obvious and we use them as an excuse to draw lines that shouldn’t exist. A good friend posted a quote this week that got me thinking about that as well:

“If you find someone and a barrier of fellowship exists, find out the reason; and if the reason is unreasonable, then dissolve it by your love. If that amount of love doesn’t dissolve it, give more love and still more love.” ~ E. Stanley Jones, Dangerous Love

Above all, love each other deeply (1 Peter 4:8).

All of these musings remind me of the words of a favorite Nichole Nordeman song:

Oh, the times when I have failed to recognize
How may chairs are gathered there around the feast
To break the bread and break these boundaries
That have kept us from our only common ground
The invitation to sit down
If we will come …

Beautiful, that’s what the body of Christ looks like. Just like you – each and every one of you. 🙂

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