One of the most fascinating things about the many trips I’ve taken throughout the years around the world is the fact that perfect strangers of varied backgrounds and experiences can stand united with that eternal bond which is the shed blood of Jesus. The shed blood of Christ is the most precious commodity in all of time and space and beyond, purchasing for the believer his salvation, reconciling him to the Father, engendering the Father’s declaration of righteousness toward the believer. But it also unites the believer into a worldwide, universal fellowship that is unending, rich and secure.
Thus it is that when I worship at the Phnom Penh New Life Church, or the Jakarta International Baptist Church, as I have done in the past month, I am utterly awestruck by the camaraderie, genuine affection, and respect that is part of the shared experience. Instantly I am reminded of the simple line in Peter’s first letter which speaks of “your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9b).
And, of course, this need not be exclusive to two large and growing and influential evangelical churches in burgeoning foreign capitals. It is true, too, of the small tribal churches tucked away in the world’s far corners. One of my greatest experiences of this sweet unity was with the Uribe tribal church in southern Sudan. And then, just days ago, with the Brou people nestled along the border of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Though their perceived material needs are far greater than the brothers and sisters in the cities, though their resources appear more scant, the richness of relationship is every bit as real and strong. There is, to put it this way, an immediate connection, regardless of color or economics or education or experience.
Jesus is the ultimate uniter.
Hey Pastor Matthew,
Right on, I was thinking of the early Church in Acts where they had everything in common.
It’s fun to meet fellow Christians and have that immediate bond. I’m closer with a few brothers than I am with some of my family members because of what we have in common.
Thanks for posting, keep it up!
Wow, yes HE is. I look forward to hearing more about your trips. I’m not sure if Christa told you, but I am praying about going to Cambodia with World Relief in early November. I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have for me.
And on another note, Happy Birthday a day late! The Shaws are blessed to call you “friend.” 🙂