So, last week we looked at a nation of people, who for all general purposes, failed at their God-given objective. Now, don’t get me wrong…not every Jew failed. The (Old Testament) Biblical narrative is somewhat interspersed with individual Jews who did as they were expected and reached out to the Gentile peoples (sometimes even being ‘convinced’ by God Himself to reach out…like that guy who ate fish…um, I mean was eaten (swallowed whole, actually) by a fish…yeah, you guessed it;Jonah). He didn’t want to go to the Gentiles because he knew God would forgive them if they believed His message…the message that Jonah was supposed to give them.
Now, let’s fast forward a few centuries to a time in Israel when God decided to come Himself and visit, even hang out with, His people. To teach them. To heal the sick, the blind, the lame. To teach them to love their enemies…not to hate. To tell them that Heaven and Hell are real, and that every human has a choice to make. To show them the greatest example of love the world would ever know; to lay down His life for His friends.
Three days later, the story began to shift. Oh, it still included some of the Jews…and a Man that used to be dead…but it began to morph into something else; something new; now other people groups were brought into the plan.
The same plan. To tell the world’s people of their Creator and Savior…regardless of nationality.
That is where the Church comes in. See, all who believe that this Jesus guy is Who He claimed to be (ahem…that would be; God) belong to a new family. Just like the entire nation of Israel were all relatives of one man (Abraham), the Church belongs to Jesus.
So…we are all the same. Kinda…almost…well, okay, not really. Here is where it gets interesting.
God doesn’t want us to all be the same. You see, some Christians like high sound-pressure worship, while others like it soft. Some Christians put more emphasis on speaking in tongues…other languages (I’ve ALWAYS spoke using my tongue…but that’s different…sorry), while other Christians are more devoted to a liturgical worship style.
And baptism? Some sprinkle, and some drown…well they do go under…
All these different denominations (I’m not talking about currency) who do things differently…yet we all do the same thing; we worship the One Who loved us enough to give Himself, His life, for us…paying a debt that we could never pay…and therefore we are all connected by the Blood of Jesus Christ. And we, as Christians, are all a part of God’s plan to reach the world….regardless of the way we worship Him.
So, as true Christians, we are all the same.