We had a great church get-together on Sunday morning, and there were several things that made it special (the quality of the guitar-playing was not one of them! – Ahem… I was playing).
But one of our number came to the front and said: “I always thought I’d been close to my Mum” (His Mum was in the congregation, for the first time). He then just managed to say: “I’m closer now, because she is saved!” It then came out that a friend of his had also made a commitment to Jesus a couple of weeks ago!
Then a visitor came and took the microphone and said, “As a visitor I can see things that you may not. I have poor eyesight and I don’t normally see people properly back in my own church. I look at others and see those who talk too much, those who talk too little, those who I find really annoying, those who turn up all the time and those who are hardly ever there.”
“But all I can see here is Christ. When the Lord looks at us he just sees people called as One Body. You are all the same. Whoever the Lord looks at here, he just sees Himself. He cannot tell one person from another, and He cannot tell us from Jesus. When Saul was struck down on the Damascus Road, and he heard a voice, God said to him ‘Why are you persecuting me?’ Saul was persecuting the church. This shows that the church IS Jesus. Personally, I have had a really bad year. But with you all this morning I haven’t had a year. I only have the Lord.”
This was powerful. We also had some great input from others about relating a story about a lion smashing through someone’s windscreen and getting into your car: what would you do if Jesus the Lion was in your car? Would you let him into the driving seat? We need to be doers of the Word, and really let him drive our lives, and trust in Him totally. Also, we need to allow reconciliation to take place, and to forgive those who we think have hurt us. Don’t take umbrage when someone hurts you, but just get it out.
To add to what God sees when he sees us – remember, he cannot tell one believer from another, and he cannot tell Christians from Jesus (there are your self-esteem problems erased for good), take this medicine three times daily: 1 Cor 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.” Our pastor asked the medical question: What is it that joins all the parts of the body together and makes it one? We worked out eventually that it’s blood. Blood brings nutrients to every single cell of the body, and carries away the waste products. It also regulates the health of the body, and requires regular renewal. It’s the blood of Christ that makes us one Body in the Lord. It’s not that we like each other, or that we live in the same town (because we don’t, even in the same church!). It’s not that we enjoy doing the same sport, or that we read the same books. It’s not that we all hold the same doctrine. We are all connected by the blood of Christ. This does not mean that we all look the same, because every part of the body looks different – a hand is not the same as a foot. But every part of the body is still an expression of the Body.
So you may look different from someone else – that’s right. Just as you are, if you are saved, you are a part of the Body of Christ with your local group of Christians. God actually delights in the diversity of the Body! He can see how it all fits together. And when he looks, He sees Jesus. Father, give us better eyesight to see what you see.