Thursday, April 23, 2015

Recess, Warfare and the Unity of Christ

When I was in sixth grade, recess was warfare. For fifteen minutes every morning and a half hour after lunch, classmates divided into two football teams. Inevitably, we divided along class lines: middle class farmer kids on one team and working poor and poor kids on the other. We’d scream and fight through every down of our short game. Though we said we were playing football, much more was at stake in our minds. We were at war with the kids who were different than us.

You might think that kids don’t understand class at that age, but we did. Human beings learn what separates them very quickly. Race, class, gender, interests, abilities all influence how we understand ourselves. As we learn who we are, we recognize who we are not. We stick with those who are like us and compete with those who are not.

Though this is common, it is far from ideal for Christians. God doesn’t call people to Himself and them divide them up based on their heritage or income. God calls people to Himself and unifies them around Himself. This unity ultimately frees Christians from the divisions and hostilities of life in a world of differences.

In Ephesians, Paul tells both Jew and Gentile that they are one in Jesus. Paul says, “For (Jesus) himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” (2:14). Jesus brings together all who believe, regardless of their differences apart from Him.

As you go through the coming week, look for ways that Jesus is bringing different people together. Recognize what they all have in common in Jesus. As you do, you will see the incredible grace of God at work in all kinds of different people. You’ll also avoid the drama of recess warfare!

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