We think this is hard,
and we’re alone
and we’re walking a road that humanity has never seen.
Cutting edge. Yeah, we think we’re cutting edge…
Forging new paths.
But we’re not. This is nothing new.
Hey guys, we’ve even been given a manual, the how-to book, a what-now guide.
But North American church…did we overlook it? Yes, we cry out to God when the tension is high and lament over fear of stories we don’t know…
gloss over to say that’s the past. Get on. Relax, and would you please…
stay in your own lane
I’ll go back to my own pew.
#multiculturalchurch This is hard.
We have different ways to worship and my way is right and your way is right and I like my way and you like your way so we worship in our ways but we missed grace and peace.
#multiculturalchurch How did we miss grace and peace?
Let’s not cover up our pride with assurance and affirm our mirrors we have grace. And let’s not settle with a sliver of rested souls and say we have peace…
if we dare not to embrace grace and peace, #multiculturalchurch, grace and peace together.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, greeted the saints with
GRACE and PEACE.
Grace, the Greek greeting.
Peace, the Hebrew greeting. Together.
Paul greeted the six-year old #multiculturalchurch with not grace alone, not peace alone. He knew the two cultures needed to hear the other guys’ greeting: “grace and peace”.
Ephesus was a port city in Asia with a thriving international trade, tourism, and attracted people of many ethnic backgrounds from all over the Roman Empire. Diversity was rich. The Jews and Gentiles, two divergent cultures…they didn’t mix. Sin was abundant. Strongholds bound the city.
When Paul planted the church in Ephesus he knew he was walking on the enemy’s turf.
Grace and peace.
In that order. He knew that bringing two cultures, Jews and Greeks together to be called church as one body, would require lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering…bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit. He knew it required Greek grace and Hebrew peace…two worlds colliding.
Grace first, then peace…because only after grace has dealt with the sin issues, then peace can be known.
The very first #multiculturalchurch needed grace and peace. God knows, so do we.
Hey #multiculturalchurch, we’ve got the manual, the how-to, the what-now. It’s the book of Ephesians. It’s pretty simple too. The first three chapters teach us who we are in Christ. We’re not Greeks, not Jews, not African American, not white. In Jesus, we’re
chosen (Eph 1:4-5, 11)
rich (Eph 1: 6)
redeemed (Eph 1:7)
forgiven (Eph 1:7-8)
blessed forever knowing our future (Eph 1:9-10)
and have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that yes, we are all of these (Eph 1:13-14).
Those chapters form our beliefs. The next three in the book of Ephesians focus on our walk…how we live…together. Let’s focus on our walk from a posture of who we are.
We have to quit the ground wars, the black and white wars, the worship style wars, the pride wars, the offense wars, the narcissistic wars, the color-of-the-walls wars, and you know we’ve fought them. But Paul’s manual says no, no…you’ve got it all wrong. Stop bloodying one another in the battle on the ground. Stop! Change the battlefield.
The ground war is won when we lift it up in the air. Look, it’s right there in the handbook, chapter 6. We fail on the ground if we’re indifferent to prayer. So pray church.
Gather. Pray. Be strong #multiculturalchurch, in the power of God’s might. Switch the battlefield and put on your armor. Your efforts aren’t trending. You’re not forging new paths, but you’re bringing grace and peace. Hear the call of heaven…together, togather, and pray.