It is no secret that the Kingdom is characterized by movement. In Matthew’s gospel we see Jesus breaking all sorts of boundaries to reveal anew God’s mission to restore His creation back to what He intended. But have you noticed that Jesus never moves alone?
From early on, Jesus gathers the most diverse group of companions. His disciples strongly hold to opposing views because they are from such different backgrounds and have different personalities and see the world from such different points of view. A Zealot and a tax collector would not have been natural friends or associates. The former led revolts against the Roman government that the latter financed. But Simon and Matthew are unified as full-on partners in Jesus’ mission, their service to the Kingdom superseding their political and ideological differences.
This is too important for us to brush past. Within the Church there is great emphasis on what differentiates or divides one group of Christians from another. Yet our narrow groupings can lead to narrow perspectives and the exclusion of a wealth of new ideas, approaches, and ministry opportunities.
There is something special about rolling up our sleeves alongside people who are different than us. Diversity enriches the body. Our own hands, which are made to move things, are a beautiful picture of unity through diversity. Could our hands function as well if every finger were a pinky?
Let’s break some boundaries this Advent season. Just as Jesus invited a diverse bunch to participate in His mission, we, therefore, can team up with others to share Gospel love with a broken world. As we partner with others, God weaves our varying perspectives, personalities, and passions into something special for His service and His glory!
Father, open our eyes and open our circles. Help us to welcome new perspectives and ideas, for the benefit of Your Kingdom. May diversity bring not division but rejoicing as we grow into a strong and beautiful body equipped to serve You.
by Jeff Galley, central group leader of LifeGroups and Missions at Life.Church