Ephesians 4:1-5 -“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
I live in a neighbourhood that is continuously in urban renewal. As a result, there is always construction going on. I can look down the road on any given day and watch various trucks pull up to the work sites, each vehicle representing a different trade. Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, tile specialists, painters, heating, and the list goes on. Each trade secretly believes their work takes precedence over the work of the other trades on site. Even on cooperative job sites, trades often have little to do with each other. Their focus on their job doesn’t allow them to see the overall picture.
It takes a gifted job supervisor to oversee these rival trades as they jockey for position. For example, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters compete for limited but necessary space needed to run wires and pipes through the framing while maintaining the building’s structural integrity.
It’s the job supervisor’s job to ensure that every worker on the site complies with strict safety protocols set up by both the provincial and federal governments. Every worker that accesses the site must wear a hard hat, steel-toed shoes, as well as customised safety gear suited for their trade. On their first day of work, the safety supervisor points out where the Muster Point is on the worksite and the routes to the Muster Point from the various work areas within the construction zone. In the event of an emergency, all workers must drop everything and immediately report in.
As the sirens blare, everyone races to the Muster Point. Its location is far enough away from the worksite to make sure there is no fear of immediate danger. It is the one point where all trades are considered equal. Rivalries are put aside. If anyone is not accounted for, trained teams spring into action. They’ve practised their emergency plan long in advance. First Aid workers report first to the Muster Point and then launch out to find those that need help.
The Cross is our Muster Point. At the Cross, there is no room for denominational bickering, nitpicking theology, or petty jealousies against other ministries, denominations, or leaders. The Cross is our commonality. It is the place we race to in the event of an emergency. We gather as one body at the Cross; there should be no division there. It is the point where we come together and are sent from to rescue those who are lost. The Cross is the place from which we carry healing to those injured while working for the Kingdom.
“How differently we would think, speak and judge concerning our fellow Christians if we lived more under the shadow of the cross. A Christian lady once asked, “How can I be delivered from the spirit of censorious judging and severe speaking of the faults of others?” In that moment came to me a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ bearing the sins of others and taking them upon Himself. For us then to put our hands upon them is really to crucify Him afresh and demand that He should suffer again for the things that He has already borne. The revelation was so unspeakably vivid that it came almost like a shock and whatever effect this truth may have had upon the heart and life of the friend in question, the writer will never forget the awful light in which it seemed to place the sin of uncharitableness, censoriousness and evil speaking. Is not this covered by such texts as this, “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?” “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?… Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died.” Beloved, let us think and speak and love henceforth under the shadow of the cross.” Simpson, A. B. The Cross of Christ. Camp Hill, Pa.: Christian Publications, 1994. Print.
Book suggestion: I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference
Do you tend to stick to your spiritual wheelhouse? Do you distance yourself from other ministries, even within your local church because you perceive they are not as crucial as other ministries? If so, do a Bible Study on 1 Corinthians 12-14, focusing on Paul’s urging that Christians stop playing the ‘My ministry is more important or less important than yours’ game.’
Have you ever attended a city-wide event where many denominations and churches gather together to focus on Jesus? I know of a smaller city in Northern California where dozens of churches from many denominational streams gather every Good Friday for a service that focuses on the Cross. What holds you back from attending such an event? If there is no such event in your area, consider gathering a group of friends from other churches together for a Good Friday service of your own.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2019 Katherine Walden
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