Over the past several years, you, my blog readers, have taught me something profound: when we direct our hearts and minds to the word of God, our worldly differences divide us less and our Kingdom joy unites us more. Some of you perch on the political right, while others lodge somewhere left of center, yet when each week we ponder together the grace and truth of Christ, your responses blend in a harmony of gladness to God. These are precious interactions for me, for in Christ your respective generations, perspectives and ethnicities only enhance the brilliance, beauty and wonder of the ever-expanding body that is His church. As Paul wrote, “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”1 We could add, in Him there is neither CEO nor intern, nor is there red-state and blue-state, and other divisions come to nothing, for “in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”2
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world… My kingdom is from another place.”3 His is a sovereignty in which hope is secure and joy overflows; it is a rule where justice is satisfied and mercy abounds. Where He reigns, His law of love flows in the power of His Spirit and serves in His character of humility. We are citizens of this Kingdom, for “If you belong to Christ, then you are … heirs according to the promise.”4 Still, we await this realm in its fullness and glory, when “God himself will be with [us].”5 Paul tells us, “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”6
This is where we are going, and each day is a measured stride toward unfading joy. Then would we let disagreements on matters of a temporal nature divert us from even a moment of enduring effectiveness? Surely our common enemy would delight at the spectacle of division and seize upon the breach on the spiritual battlefield. Instead, may we be like Cornelius and Peter—the Gentile and the Jew, the officer and the fisherman, once-seeking and now-saved—looking beyond petty differences in this world and living productively toward the next. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”7 We run as one.
Father, you have united us in Christ Jesus. Grace us to fix our gaze on you in all circumstances, for your Kingdom comes. May your will be done in and through your people today. Amen.
1 Galatians 3:27, 28 NIV
2 Romans 12:5 NIV
3 John 18:36 NIV
4 Galatians 3:29 NIV
5 Revelation 21:3 NIV
6 Colossians 3:4 NIV
7 Hebrews 12:1, 2 NIV