Have you ever been told that God’s people all worship the same way? Have you ever been told they all talk the same? Have you ever been told they all worship in the same building under the same name? Have you been told if you don’t look or act like them, then you are somehow less than? If so, I’m sorry!
Do those questions bother you? Does that apology bother you? Are you the one who has said those things to someone? If so, I’m sorry!
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
He didn’t say no one comes to the Father except thru my people. He didn’t say no one comes to the Father except thru a perfect theology. He didn’t say no one comes to the Father unless you cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s. He didn’t say no one comes to the Father except by being born into the right family with the right set of doctrinal views. He didn’t say no one comes to the Father unless they follow all the rules in the right order.
In fact, this verse is curious to me…
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. – John 5:29-40
What do you do when you read your bible? Are you looking for the answer to your theological questions? Are you looking to see if you or “they” line up with the word? Are you looking for justification for your beliefs? Are you hoping if you know your bible well enough and follow it strictly enough it will get you into Heaven?
What if you changed your focus when you picked up your bible the next time? What if you changed your focus the next time you walked thru the doors of a church…yours or someone else’s? What if you looked for Him in those scriptures? What if you looked for Him in that church? What if you looked for Him in the eyes of the person standing across from you, no matter who they are, what they look like or where they attend church on Sunday morning, or don’t?
I was reading about the priestly garments in Exodus and noticed something curious about the breast piece. I noticed how it represented God’s people, the twelve tribes of Israel. It wasn’t one big stone to represent the Israelites. It was 12 separate and precious stones representing each tribe individually. Each stone was individually engraved with the name of one of the twelve tribes. They were God’s people, yet separate and distinct from one another. They were brothers of the same family, yet uniquely different.
I love God’s word. I want to spend more time in it. I need to spend more time in it. I want my life to line up with what I find in there. I want to find my life hidden in who He is in there. I want to celebrate the uniqueness of all of His kids who are doing their best to live for Him.
I want to find Him when I look in your eyes, not the name of your church.