In Britton’s sermon last Sunday, he mentioned the word “community.” It seems like God has brought that word to my attention a lot since moving here, perhaps simply because here at Lakeside community such an integral part of the makeup of this church.
When we look at the early church, we see that everything that would normally bring a group of people together like social standing, hobbies and interests, or even cultural background is not in place. In the book of Acts there people from all walks of life being brought together to establish the body of Christ, which is the church. To begin with, Christ chose fisherman and tax collectors to be his disciples. Later, after the cross, Christ shows himself to Paul, an upper-class Pharisee whose education way surpassed those “lowly” disciple’s. Traditionally language is an obvious divider among people groups, but in Acts Chapter 2 at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit breaks down the language barrier. Now, at this point in the early church, everyone has at least one thing in common, their Jewish heritage. Yet, God throws even that commonality away within His young church when He extends His grace to the Gentiles in Acts Chapter 10 through Peter’s vision. This means that God, the God of Judah from the Old Testament, opened His arms to the people of Israel as well as every other nation. The Messiah, our Christ died for everyone’s sin. Whatever is behind bringing such a diverse group of people together to completely change the world must be a VERY powerful source.
Our Lord makes it clear that His church is supposed to be made up of a diverse group of people from every nation and tongue, but what is the reason for this?
Through Christ all the things that divide us are eliminated as He becomes the common denominator. He receives all of the praise and recognition in a body of believers because the most important thing we share together is the grace of God that is transforming our lives. This community that we share is a blessing from God meant to further His name. Beautiful, isn’t it?