Mar. 24 - Rack of Irregularities
Do you have any quirks or eccentricities that sometimes rub people the wrong way? I’ll answer that for you: yes, you do. We all do. In a normal week, you may encounter several people that annoy you, irritate you, or make you want to run the other way. But God doesn’t want us to avoid each other; he wants us to live in community with one another. That’s why he brought each one of us, along with our particular set of quirks and irregularities, to Newstart and Highpoint. But if we’re all eccentric, annoying and broken, how can we successfully merge our two churches and go forth together to share Christ with the community?
Let’s look to Paul, who dedicated his ministry to sharing grace and spreading peace. “Grace and peace to you” was a common salutation among the Greek and Hebrew people in his time, but when Paul spoke to people or addressed them in his letters, he added a twist:
1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ.
Paul expanded on this common greeting to remind the people that grace and peace came from God. And he intentionally listed grace first, peace second. He knew that grace needed to be the starting point in order for the people to live peacefully together.
Have you ever heard comments like these in the church?
“I can’t sit through another bible study with that guy. His voice is so weird!”
“I know that woman is lonely and just needs someone to spend time with her, but can’t someone else do it? All she wants to talk about is her cats!!”
“I don’t want to volunteer with him. He has no sense of humor!”
Christ gave his life so that each one of us could be forgiven for the sins we have committed, and continue to commit, against Him on a daily basis. So if we are to live like Christ, we need to offer the same grace and forgiveness that He did. And we’re not talking about forgiving someone for whipping us, calling us names and letting us die on a cross – we just need to be able to look past each other’s odd characteristics and idiosyncrasies! The enemy will try to use these things to try to come between us, but God is so much bigger than that.
Let’s approach one another with grace, mercy, and an attitude of “I care about you and I want to fix what’s coming between us” and we’ll see peace come soon after, just as Paul knew it would.