Friday, January 25, 2019

Just One Body!

As many of you know, I spent last week with my son Jonathan in Nicaragua.  Although there are some great challenges and difficulties taking place in the country there, we had a wonderful time doing ministry and spending time with the people with whom we have worked since 2011.  It was wonderful to see them after all they have been through this past year.  And, they were so glad to see us. 

One of the highlights of being there is being able to minister in the two churches pastored by the pastors we work with, Obed and Adele Anton.  And, we have gotten to know and love many of the people in their churches.  On this trip, Jonathan greeted the people, played his guitar, and led the people in a song—an older one that they really love.  I preached through my translator and then led a time of prayer at the altar. The people were so responsive to God’s Word and to prayer. Especially now as they are facing all kinds of challenges as a nation, they are crying out to God and looking to him for direction, help, strength, and provision. God was faithful to minister to them during each of the services.

With the people at Iglesia Monte Horeb, Leon Nicaragua! 
Each time I’m in the churches there—and, as well when I’ve been in other countries worshipping and ministering—I’m reminded of the breadth of Christ’s church.  After all, they are singing, praying, and preaching in a different language. The order of their service is usually a bit different than ours. The sound system is turned way up—yes, it’s loud!  And, the people just tend to worship a little bit differently. Yet, I can’t help but recognize our unity in Christ; I can’t help but recognize that we are all worshipping the same Christ!  We are one body!

When it comes to the church in Nicaragua and the church here in the US, it can feel like we are two nations and thus two different peoples. And, it can feel that way with the church around the world; it can feel as if we are separate entities. After all, great distances sometimes separate us. And, we all have our cultural ways of “doing church.”  But the truth is, in Christ we are one people! There is ultimately only one Church!  There is only one body!

The Bible says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 – NIV)

Won’t you celebrate with me today the breadth of the Church of Jesus Christ, both here at home and across the world?  And, let’s be diligent to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world—many of whom are facing today persecution for their faith and great difficulties in their lives and nations.   After all, we are one in Christ! There is just one body!

Have a great day!

Pastor Tim Harris

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