What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun. Ecc. 1:9
As novel as we think we are, we don’t surprise God at all.
I mentioned birth control in my previous post and that caught some attention. It occurred to me that recent generations really have no idea about past religious hot buttons and their social implications. History IS disagreement over faith. There is nothing new to battling over what makes us “true” Christians.
Until the late 60’s, most families were BIG families. Birth control was not only considered a sin, it was illegal! It wasn’t until 1965, that the Supreme Court decided birth control was legal for married couples. Seven years later, the Supreme Court ruled it was legal for single persons. These were SUPREME COURT decisions.
Now, table that little gem for a moment and consider this:
“World Christianity consists of 6 major ecclesiastico-cultural blocs, divided into 300 major ecclesiastical traditions, composed [sic] of over 33,000 distinct denominations in 238 countries” (The World Christian Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 16).
Do you get me? Since Christ’s death, we have had at least 33,000 major disagreements over Bible theology. Infant baptism/ sprinkle or immerse/ speaking in tongues/ wine or grape juice/ communion once a week or once a month, etc., etc. We have disenfranchised each other on average more than sixteen times a year since Christ was crucified. That’s just the community disagreements-it doesn’t include the individuals we disenfranchise quietly on the daily.
My point is this: God is easy, people are hard. God says, come to me. Faith and love will shake all this out. We, broken as we are, say “unless”; unless you do it this way, you aren’t a true believer. We grasp the concept of not being able to earn our redemption, but we cannot let go of our need to play a part in it all. So, we make it our job to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Friend, it’s not our job. We are called not to separate the wheat from the chaff, cook the meal, set the table or do the dishes. We are called to relish our place at the table and gladly scoot our chair over to make room for our bedraggled neighbor, who’s not sure if there is room.
There is room.
Welcome him warmly and let him pull up his chair. But for goodness sake, let him get to the table before you start piling his plate with that which is good for him and that which is delicious. Once he’s at the table, if he decides he doesn’t like the broccoli on his plate, remember: it’s his plate. You can tell him how much you love it, but don’t get mad if he doesn’t eat it. It’s his choice. Enjoy yours. As long as he’s not throwing it across the table at someone else, it’s cool.
And that’s the bottom line, friend. None of us need to throw food at the table. None of us need to force feed our neighbor. None of us need to push someone from the table if they choose not to eat the same thing we choose to eat. Remember, it’s not our table. We were invited same as our neighbor. Enjoy your meal and above all, thank your very gracious host.
Maybe, just maybe, if we focused on who brought us together, we might indeed do something fresh and novel.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” Eph 4:4-6