Two strangers, foreign to one another in religion, culture and tradition. One, a man of power, wealth and status. The other, poor and of v limited worldly education and influence. Yet it was these two strangers that God chose to use to bring in a new order. What united them was their love for God, their willingness to hear Him and obey AND their humility. In submitting to God and humbling themselves to one another, long established walls fell down and the community of believers witnessed a new work of God amongst them.
I can’t help but think that God continues that good work among us and in His church today. What does that mean for us? For Protestants, perhaps it means learning from our Catholic and Orthodox brothers and sisters. For wealthy American churches, it might mean learning from Third World churches. For me, sitting in my church, it means being humble before that fellow church member who quite frankly, I avoid because he or she rubs me the wrong way.
This past winter, I read the book A Train In Winter about French Resistance women imprisoned by the Nazis in World War II. When one woman was asked how she survived she explained how it never occurred to them to dislike each other because their survival depended upon each French woman living. Another life was just as important as their own. I am beginning to understand that my situation in the church is not so different. I may not be fighting for survival in a concentration camp and I haven’t had a divine vision or angelic visit like Peter and Cornelius, but humbling myself and respecting the value and movement of God in others can open the door for God to do a work that is beyond the power of my imagination.
Lord Jesus, by your goodness and mercy may this be so in my life today.