Acts 4:33 NRSV
With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
If you have been in worship with us recently, you know that I am seeing the resurrection almost everywhere I look these days. The theme of “death to new life” is resonating through every pore of my body and every wisp of my soul. I have found that if I keep my focus on Jesus, I see the resurrection everywhere around me. I have been reminded that the world is filled with hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Right now, there is a lot of noise in our world. And within our own denomination, there seems to be many voices proclaiming that we cannot be “one body.” You will hear (or have been hearing) how we must split apart to “create peace” within our own denomination.
I simply do not buy it. I believe people with different views can be people of faith together. I have given my life towards that end. I will honor my call from God to be a United Methodist pastor until God calls me home or I retire. I am hoping neither happen for quite some time.
I honestly think our God intentionally keeps Divinely bringing us together despite our very human tendency to tribe up with “like minded” others. Have you ever been in a church at ANYTIME in your life when everyone agreed? Maybe I’m the only one, but that experience has totally escaped me! And honestly, I don’t want everyone to agree with how I think. We think better when we think differently.
Of course, there are things we don’t all agree on – always have been and probably always will be until Jesus comes again. That’s the price of “being together.” But are we really in such a big hurry to make those things we do not agree on THE defining issue of who we are?
Call me crazy, but THE defining issue for who I am as a believer is that I believe in the resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a resurrection that I am participating in both NOW and in the future. What if we all (laity, clergy, bishops, delegates, everyone) stay focused on that as THE definition of who we are? What then stays in view as a priority? What falls from view – as certainly important – but lesser priorities?
Sure, there are many things we will wrestle our way through. I just want to wrestle through them “together.” I don’t think that I’m the only one. I find great solace in knowing God is bigger than me. God walked out of the tomb after death. They thought that was impossible too. I say again, THAT is what I think our “undivided” attention should be on. Read Acts 4:33 again. To God be the glory.