On Sunday Justin (one of the leaders at Emmaus) spoke on Ephesians 4:1-16. He focused us on the unity Paul encourages. He told a hypothetical story about the 2 blind men that Jesus healed meeting one another after Jesus’ ascension. They are excited to have found one another and begin to talk about it. One describes excitedly how Jesus answered his cry and commended his faith and then he could see! The other guy looks a little confused and corrects him saying that the first man must have meant to say
that Jesus spit in the dirt and rubbed it on his eyes and then told him to go take a bath. The first man, of course, knows what he experienced and gets defensive while the second man firmly holds that Jesus doesn’t work that way and his story must be wrong. Then the two separate and form different congregations of people who believe their respective stories and judge that the others did not really encounter Jesus.
Of course this sounds so silly: these guys were blind and now they see! But it’s exactly what we do. We were lost and now we’re found! We were dead and now we’re alive! We were slaves and now we’re free! Yet we get so hung up on baptism, predestination, communion, ecclesiology, prophesy… I have even heard of people causing division because they did not like where the refreshment table was placed after the service or the color of the carpet in the sanctuary. We, the redeemed of the Lord, the broken ones made new, give a damn about what?? What does this say to a world that is still broken? How does this look to the people still without hope? That despite the cries of their souls, having a rescue doesn’t really bring peace or joy; or it tells them that this isn’t the Hope they have been searching for so they move on.
If we continue to allow ourselves to be divisive – through theology, preference, through our annoyance at other believers even – we will continue to be a hinderance in the Kingdom. We brutally chop up the Body of Christ over trivialities. What is worth dividing over, really? Can a Catholic who prays to Mary, but depends on Jesus to save him from death truly not get along with a Baptist who won’t drink alcohol, but has legitimately experienced the New Wine? Why can’t the Baptist show reverence for the Virgin Mother and the Catholic provide some grape juice at communion?
I have more thoughts on this, but I think this is a good place to stop and chew… God is so creative and it seems like He keeps bringing this subject up and showing me things from new angles. I don’t know why exactly He’s decided to shower us with so many blessings lately, but He has – it’s hard to explain, but that’s just been very clear – and I don’t want to squander it… If you think about it and you have a second I would really appreciate your prayers that I use this time wisely and glean what God wants me to from this period.
When All the Love in the World is Right Here Among Us