Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Our Unity In Christ

               The Bible says, And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation (Rev 5:9).
The Song of heaven is a song declaring the sufficiency, and worthiness of Christ. And it is a song being sung by people who are different in culture, language and geographical location. We could add the fact that they would be different socially, politically, economically, etc. But the point is that Christ is no respecter of persons (verse), and that his redeemed community as seen before the throne in heaven has left all differences aside except their allegiance and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That they are different is not to be ignored, or tolerated, but celebrated. What a wonderful display of the Gospel when all of the differences in humanity are overcome and replaced with a wonderful unity in the Spirit through the work of Christ, as Paul wonderfully explains in Ephesians 2. 
The confusion in what is being called racialization, argues on social grounds for recognition, acknowledgment, and fair treatment for all. This is an appropriate desire, but a sinful demand. The Gospel provides the only way forward in the complicated process of cultural and social interaction, assimilation and social equality of people who are different from one another. And all sincere  Christians desire to see the perfect expression of this equality. But until we get to heaven, the closest we will get to it is in our life together in the church, which should be a foretaste of the heavenly assembly with all of its rich diversity.
In Acts 6 Luke records the fact that racial tensions was one of Satan’s earliest tactics to disrupt the Gospel ministry of the church: Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution (Acts 6:1). But the church dealt with the issue with wisdom and insight so that the ministry of the Word was not hindered. The danger of social issues is that they take center stage and move us away from the centrality of the proclamation of the Gospel as our priority which is the life of the church.
I commend our Haitian members who meet with us in worship and have become a part of our church, even though it means worshipping and participating in their second language. What a wonderful display of grace in their lives, and how enriched we all are as we share our lives in Christ together. We can even now begin to sing in the church this new song that will be heard around the throne of heaven.