Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 20, 2020
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. Luke 1:52
I remember years ago touring a colonial church in the heart of a coastal American city. With great pride they pointed out a pew on the front right that was owned by George Washington and his family, a seat of honor saved and reserved for whenever he happened to be in town. While I found this to be fascinating historically, and have no issue with honoring those deserving of honor (Romans 13:7), the longer I sat with this fact, the less I appreciated it from a theological perspective.
To be a Christian is to be a citizen in the Kingdom of God. What unites us to one another, therefore, is Christ and his Kingdom, which means that we are inseparably bound in the church to people with whom we may otherwise have very little in common! To gather as the church is not simply a work of our hands, our best efforts at community, but is nothing short of a gift from God. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer puts it in his book, Life Together, “Christian community means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. There is no Christian community that is more than this, and none that is less than this.”
If this is true, then church is the great equalizer. It is the place where the humble are elevated and the elevated are brought low. Through the waters of baptism we are united with Christ and given our truest identity. In God’s kingdom, a pauper is as much a beloved child of God as a president.
It is easy to miss just how radical and subversive this kind of community is in our modern world. We do not default to this kind of community. By nature, we default to associating with people who are similar to us; people who like the same food, the same sports teams, whose kids go to same schools, or who have similar levels of disposable income. Yet the church, more than any other institution, unites people from all walks of life, all political persuasions, all ages and degrees of wealth and power and influence.
The church is the only place in the whole of our lives where those who belong to Christ come together as one family, no matter how different we may be! If Christ dwells in you, then you and I are united to one another more than anyone or anything else, regardless of our skills, training, or natural interest. We belong to one another, not in and of ourselves, but because our life flows from the same source, Jesus Christ.
Father, thank you for the gift of community and the joy that comes from living as a member of your beautifully diverse family, the church. Amen.
How can you cultivate intentional friendships with people who may not share your same interests and passions, but love the same Lord?
The church is where the humble are elevated and the elevated are brought low. #WisdomHunters #church #truth #Jesus
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