A few years ago, Patrina and I traveled with a group of 80 people or so as we explored different sites across Israel. We rode together, ate meals together, and waded into the Dead Sea together. We didn’t know anyone when we arrived, but it was clear early on that we all shared a common bond in Christ.
Today, there is a lot of talk about unity, or the lack thereof, within the church. Some of it is helpful, some not so much. Instead of dividing us, Paul wrote to the Ephesians that they were “no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” (Ephesians 2:19).
Think of your own “household.” You may have extended family or empty nesters like us or maybe you live alone, but we all have a place in the “household” of God. We have a role to play. Not one of us is unnecessary. So, instead of reflecting the turmoil in the culture around us, we are to be reminded that the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit”(Ephesians 2:20-22).
We come from different homes and upbringings. We have different levels of education and life experiences. Our skin tones vary as much as our personalities. But we are not foreigners and strangers, though some of us are a bit strange, right? And yet in Christ, there should be unity as we see in the members of the Trinity mentioned in this very passage. We are in Christ to become a holy temple to the LORD (the Father) living by the Spirit of God!
Now back to our ten days in Israel. Yes, we did spend more time with some than others, but there was a common sense of adventure for each of us. So, instead of looking for our differences, let’s look at how we have Christ in common.