“…live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” ~Ephesians 4:1-3
The Gospel of salvation from God in Christ Jesus unites us. It seeks to save all people and it brings together all people. People from different backgrounds and different cultures, with different mindsets and different gifts and different views and different styles are all called together in Christ. A quick glance at Romans 12 tells us clearly that God creates our differences. In fact, it’s our differences that make the Body of Christ, his Church, what it is. It wouldn’t be very functional as a body if we were all the same.
This divinely-ordained diversity is expressed in many ways by our different styles and preferences in corporate worship. Whether we kneel, stand, or protrate ourselves on the floor to pray (or whether we prefer the ONLY prayer posture not mentioned in Scripture: sitting on our rear-ends in padded pews); whether we go to the front to eat the bread and drink the cup or stay in our seats; whether we sing new songs or old ones; whether we dress formally or informally; these are all matters of cultural and traditional diversity. And if our assemblies are truly regulated by the Gospel, that diversity will be valued by God’s people.
The Gospel calls us to, by imitating Jesus, put the interests of others above our own. Even in our assemblies. Maybe especially in our assemblies. That takes maturity. Spiritual maturity. But if we’re living a life worthy of the calling….
David and Olivia Nelson are our missionaries to the Ukraine. They’ll be leaving October 13 for a six-year commitment to taking the Gospel of Jesus to Eastern Europe. Here’s a link to their blog: http://www.daveandliv.blogspot.com/
Cory and Emily Mullins are our missionaries to Australia. They’re leaving in November for a similar six-year commitment to spreading the Kingdom of our Father to the ends of the earth. You can read their blog here: http://www.mullinsmission.blogspot.com/
It’s the last weekend before school starts for everybody Monday. We’re going to pray for all our school kids during our assembly here at Legacy Sunday morning. Then our Small Group is going to join our Legacy teens and parents in going to all the different school campuses here locally and praying on those sites Sunday afternoon. There’s a big back-to-school bash in the church gym later Sunday. And then I guess we go home and start bagging up and labeling school supplies.
For the first time this fall, we’ll have three girls at three different campuses (campi?). Whitney starts high school at Richland. Valerie’s beginning middle school at North Ridge. And Carley’s still at Green Valley Elementary. I’m sorry, make that FOUR girls at four different locations. Carrie-Anne’s going back to school, too. When we got married she lacked a semester and a half in getting her degree. We just assumed we’d get that done pretty quickly. Here, almost 19 years later, she’s going to do it. A semester at Tarrant County College. And then another semester at Texas Women’s University in Denton. She’s up there right now today meeting with her counselor. She’s very excited. And I’m very proud of her. So Monday it’s four backpacks and four sets of school supplies and four sack lunches. And I get to sing “School Bells” Monday morning to four of my girls, not just three.