In Romans Paul urges us to accept our brothers (and sisters) in Christ as he writes:
5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6
If I contemplate my own household and our unique voices (my fiery Aspen, strong-willed Liam, steady, firm and loving Benjamin, caffeine-induced, driven, imaginative self), it is almost unimaginable to understand how we as a larger Body of Christ can sing and join as one voice to God. And yet we are called to sing, praise, and give glory to Him in one resounding perfect voice singing Holy, Holy, Holy are you Lord.
I’ve sat with this verse a bit and come to realize that there is only one Way. One method. One man who could orchestrate and direct such a vibrant choir in so many personal keys into a perfectly tuned concert pitch. Jesus. Jesus is the interweaving thread. His sacrifice and our belief in Him are what sets us apart from other worldly beliefs and binds us in perfect unity as one body in the service of the Kingdom.
Jesus creates a bridge to the Father’s heart that allows the vulnerability to experience mercy and grace in a way unmatched before He walked the Earth. If we look back in the Bible before his time we see a need for animal sacrifice, a veil around the Holy of Holies, a separation or lack of unity in the Body of Christ. Sure, Abraham, David, Solomon, and Job may have each worshipped God but their faith was very individualized. Each man had a separate personal sacrifice to seal his faith and devotion to God. With the crucifixion (and resurrection) of Jesus, each member of the Christian body is covered by the same perfect blood. The curtain was torn and our connection to the Father became personal and unified in the same moment. One body, one Jesus, one perfect Father who forgave our sins because of His son’s blood-shed. Regardless of race, culture, language, sin, background, whosoever believes in Jesus and claims Him as their savior is offered eternal life with the Father in heaven. In Jesus we are all unified. In Jesus we are all covered by the blood. In Jesus we are all given access to a much greater destiny.
I hope this excites you as much as it does me. I hope this revelation of unity and living under one blood is enough for you to accept your brother and sister in Christ as just that your brother and sister. I was blessed to grow up with one of each and although we may have not accepted each other in patience at every turn, we do make a grand choir. A burly, wood-working “little” brother with a love for music and smell of cedar wood shavings and a gorgeous, organized, workout-queen, younger sister with a love for cake decorating, high heels and simplicity. We could not be any different—and yet we share the same blood, both biologically and spiritually. But this verse goes beyond living in perfect harmony with those you call natural family, this verse calls us higher. To sing in perfect harmony with each and every brother and sister in Christ. That means even the brothers and sisters who find Jesus after hard things… the lonely, the awkward, the sinner, those who struggled with sexuality, and even the murderer. And how, how do we do this? Again, I bring you to Jesus and his blood. It was enough to cover all sin without looking back so we could be made white as snow.
I encourage you to think of the person who you don’t see eye to eye with…or perhaps a fellow church member whose personality just rubs you the wrong way. Look at them through the eyes of the Father and see that God loves them just as He loves you. Each person is a child of God made uniquely and wonderfully His. I hope that this leaves you encouraged to sing loudly at the next worship service you attend, knowing that as a part of the Body of Christ your voice is needed and a powerful piece of the puzzle in the supernaturally unified Kingdom of God.
Flip 180 Pastor