What an encouraging time to come together with the Shelby Crossings faith family this past Wednesday night for our first of four InterMissiongatherings! I hope you were able to be with us. If not, I hope you can make it for the next three weeks. I promise there won’t be any more cartoons.
For whatever reason, those cartoons that seemed to communicate my point so well in my office didn’t quite connect when we were together in the worship center. Perhaps I should try a new approach. If the visual doesn’t work, maybe it will work better if I make you use your imagination.
Picture another cartoon, with all the simple art and clever wit and poignant irony you can pack into a single frame. (Work with me, please.) There’s a young guy talking to an apparent “religious leader.” The youth has spiked hair, an earring and a chain around his neck and all the trendy clothes. Apparently this youth has made some kind of religious commitment. The religious leader is standing before the youth and saying, “You know young man that this means you are going to have to dress normally.”
Here’s where the humor of the cartoon comes in. When you see the religious leader he is wearing a bishop’s hat that rises up about two feet with a cross on it. He is also carrying a staff and wearing a robe and an enormous cross on it. “Dress normally,” he says. Get it?
(Insert laugh track.)
What’s the point? As we gather together to seek God’s will for us during this time of refocusing our vision–and, even more so, as we live our lives for Christ throughout the year–we are seeking unity, in Christ, but not uniformity. Thankfully, God has brought us together from all walks of life as “a diverse community of believers committed to developing passionate followers of Christ to impact the world.”We may dress a little different, talk a little different, and act a little different sometimes, but God has sovereignly melded us together as His body, rallying around our common relationship with Jesus Christ.
We come from different backgrounds, with differing gifts, abilities, experiences and passions–and hurts, for that matter–and God will use us all, as pieces in the puzzle to come together to function as the community of faith He has called us to be. That’s what it means to be His church.
I’m grateful He’s allowed me to be a part of such a great church, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us in the year ahead as we serve Him together. I’m praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing this Sunday…and Wednesday, too.