Date: Saturday, May 24
Scripture: Acts 2:1-13
Verse: They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak. (Acts 2:4)
Differences between us are easy to spot: skin pigmentation, weight, language, financial status, culture and traditions, even the food we enjoy. All too often these differences are used to separate us. We play the comparison game, which in some ways is the result of the first sin, when Adam and Eve became aware they were naked and covered themselves. The truth is, there is far more that brings us together than separates us.
Tim, a former youth from a church I served in New Jersey, toured the world with his wife last year, blogging along the way. During his visit to the Middle East he wrote the following:
As we reached the sand and felt the sticky salt air, saw impromptu soccer games, men fishing after work and old couples walking together, it reminded us of home and that the people we’ve met here are not so different from the people in New Jersey. They do have a different set of beliefs, eat different food and practice different social customs, but the variety of people here are just like the variety I know at home – and so it’s not easy to generalize. Some are friendly, open and down to earth; some are rude, hypocritical and selfish; some focus their lives on business while others sacrifice for their families; some people want to take advantage of you and exploit your weaknesses, while others are genuine, caring and selfless. Although there are vast differences – our similarities are even greater. (Read the whole post here)
When the Holy Spirit comes in a powerful way on that Day of Pentecost, the Tower of Babel is, in some sense, undone. All the things that keep people apart are dissolved, and those who follow The Way of Jesus are united across physical boundaries, language barriers, and socio-economic differences. It is a remarkable moment, which I believe we are called to recreate day after day after day. Reminding ourselves that God loves everyone we meet, just as he loves us. That brings us together in a way that nothing can separate.
Prayer: Teach me, Lord Jesus, to see others as you see them. Amen.
Action: Experiment with reminding yourself throughout the day ahead, that God loves every person you see.
Respond: What cross-cultural moments have you had to remind you of our similarities over our differences?
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