The out-workings of our union with Christ
Union with Christ has been the recurring theme for me these past few weeks. We rejoice that we are one with Christ through His death and resurrection. We're so happy that we're one with Jesus through His victory over death and sin on the cross, aren't we?
Then we look over at ‘Richard’ (sorry to those named Richard) who’s next to us at church. This person is sinful, impatient, arrogant, ignorant, selfish person who probably doesn’t know much about theology. We see that 'Richard' is also rejoicing that he is one with Christ. Then it dawns on us. If I’m one with Christ, through no merit of my own... and Richard’s one with Christ, through no merit of his own...... I’m one with him!!
Isn’t it comforting to know that you’re one with the likes of William Wilberforce, Hudson Taylor, Abraham, Moses, Paul? But what about those Christians that hurt you, disappointed you, let you down and made you feel you want to move to a different church? How do you feel when you’re told you’re one with them also?
I share this thought with you because we need this truth wherever God positions us to love.
As you may know, I am a project manager for Streetlytes, a homeless drop-in. There are many gag-inducing smells that seek food and help. In the past week, a very well-known homeless man came in and he smelt really bad. Not only that, he was unable to walk well. So as he came in to sit, the whole room started to stink to the extent that opening windows didn't help. It was so sad to see him like this and it was probably because it was a very tough winter season which brought about a lack of support. This dirty, helpless man invaded everyone's comfort with his stench but the Spirit of God worked in my heart what it means to be in union with Christ. At that moment, union with Christ meant I was to invade him with comfort and fellowship. His stench was my own and my comfort was his.
Being in union with one another under the lordship of Christ has really humbled me as I minister to those that are unbearable at times, unpleasant to be with, who think differently, having different interests as me. It convicts me of the lack of love I have for so many and although it is shameful, it is good, it will soften, shape and mature my depraved heart.
As we share in being in the same body of Christ, the church, may God also lead you, brothers and sisters, to your own convictions and also to a place of rejoicing that we move and advance the kingdom of God as one. We are altogether His Church, revealing His goodness and mercy, His glory to the world!