One For All

Amidst the heinous bombings at the Boston Marathon shine the heroes who risked their lives to help the wounded. One story in particular keeps replaying in my mind.

Runners cross the finish line of the 35th Mari...

(Photo credit: United States Marine Corps)

Carlos Arredondo, the “Latino cowboy” immigrant, cheered for a friend who was running in honor of his son, who died fighting in Iraq almost 10 years ago.

Immediately after the blast, instead of running away, he ran toward the scene. He crossed the street and tore pieces of a fence that separated the runners from the crowd. Then he scaled the fence and tended to victims.

This American hero reminds me a little of my action hero.

God the Father―who also knows the pain of losing a son―cheers for us as we run our Christian race (Romans 8:31; Hebrews 12:1).

Jesus crossed the universe, defied physics, and hurdled time by entering earth’s history (John 1:1-15; Isaiah 7:14).

Instead of running away from sinners, the light of the world ran to us (Luke 15:2-7).

Jesus tore away obstructing sin that separated us from our holy God (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9).

Through Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, God triumphed over Satan’s rule of sin and death (Hebrews 2:14).

After Jesus ascended to heaven, He distributed His plunder by giving gifts to His children/church (Ephesians 4:8). Paul, during his imprisonment in Rome, compared Jesus to a conqueror marching to the gates and taking tribute from the fallen city (Psalm 68:18). The following links open to a study of these spiritual gifts:

http://www.bible.org/seriespage/spiritual-gifts-1-corinthians-121-11

http://www.qualityoflifeministries.info/purpose-of-gifts

Christ’s resurrection helps us find meaning, even in great tragedy.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”  – Hebrews 6:19-20

All For One

Before my 10 year-old attended camp, my husband and I told him: “Remember, you represent us.”

Translation: “Behave!”

Before the apostle Paul taught about spiritual gifts to the Ephesians, he admonished:

Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”   – Ephesians 4:1

Translation: “Behave! You are Christ’s own. You represent the King. Therefore, be humble, gentle, patient, understanding, and peaceful.”

About five years earlier, Paul appealed to the Corinthian church to be unified. Their spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries instead of God’s intended purpose of building and edifying the church.

How important is unity to our Lord? On the threshold of His crucifixion, Jesus prayed for us―future believers:

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know you, (God the Father), sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  – John 17:22-23

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul continued on this thought:

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit―just as you were called to one hope . . . .―one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”    – Ephesians 4:3-6

I counted nine ‘ones’ in the above two passages. Working together in unity is extremely important to God. Thankfully, our oneness doesn’t make us clones. Wouldn’t that be boring! God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities.

As the body of Christ―God’s church―we can accomplish far more together than we ever could individually.

God’s oneness of believers is opposite of society’s definition of being number one (Luke 14:19). By seeking God’s approval we can avoid the  superstar syndrome.

How can the church be one and avoid division with our diversity? I would love to see your comments.