WE ARE ALL THE SAME
As I was helping serving the Holy Communion during Easter, something very spectacular spoke to my heart – we are all the same. The Westwood Lutheran Church in Minneapolis has people from different countries, different colors, different traditions etc. The same what! Three truths stood up to me:the same color of heart, blood and bones. I laughed at myself. Working as an African Outreach Minister, I found myself always crossing the border, and work with both the Africans and Americans, who look different from the outside, but they look the same in the things which are so crucial as far as personal life and communal life are concerned. This led me to think about our spiritual life and walk.
First, the heart. The Bible repeatedly speaks of the problem of the heart. The Bible says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings (Jer. 17:9-10). It continues saying, For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, hefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man’ (Mark 7:21-23). When God looks at our hearts, we all look the same:sinners. We deserve death and God’s judgment. We deserve hell.
Second, the blood. On the other hand, we see the love and grace of God through the Cross of Jesus Christ, where He shed his precious blood for us. On the Cross, Jesus who never knew sin, He carried in his flesh all the past, present and future sins of the world and paid it all on the Cross of Calvary. John the Baptist pointed to him saying: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) The whole world have had the same problem – sin. Through the blood of Jesus, and of him alone we are redeemed (1 Pet. 1:18-20), we are justified (Rom. 3:24, 5:1), we are washed and cleansed from all our sins and unrighteousness; and have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7-9). But above all, we are no longer alienated and enemies but reconciled to God (Col. 1:20-21)
One day we would join the never-ending fellowship in heaven.A fter these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” … “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:9-15). My question to you is: are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
The last truth has to do with bones. Do you know that every human being is composed with 270 bones at the time of birth and that this total decreases to 206 bones by adulthood after some bones have fused together?The same number of bones with the same color. Bones gives our body our shape, by uniting and putting each part of our body together. Bones also help us to move. Without bones, we would just be a heap of ‘something’. This reminded me of the church and its function. The Bible repeatedly speaks of the importance of the unity of the church in worship, fellowship and service to others (John 17, 1 Cor. 12).
It’s my prayer that as we continue in our life, fellowship and service, let’s not forget, we are all the same. We have the same problem – sin, we have the same answer – the blood of Jesus and we have the same calling – oneness in fellowship and service
Copyright: Douglas Mmari, Hope Ministries Tanzania.