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(THIS WEEK: Death.)
"Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.”
Was Yogi Berra talking about the greater church? Not. But it could have been.
The corporate death-to-self of the greater church is something that many in the unity movement want to see happen.
It goes like this: “If your church would only die to its theology, we could sing Kumbaya this Friday night in a joint campfire service.”
Yogi sorta' had it right. Everybody wants to go to the other’s funeral first. It should perhaps dawn on us that God might be moving us to visit members or leaders of the other church while it is still alive. It is through relationships that Christians come together. Lord knows, it ain’t through hair-splitting theology or else why would there be tens of thousands of independent or unaligned “denominations?”
In unity meetings, I notice that they naturally take on the theological or philosophical flavor of the leader. What are the chances of a large group of Christians agreeing with one man’s views? It might stand a chance if that one man was Jesus.
The more appropriate way to die to ourselves as a member of a particular church is to get to know the unfamiliar person sitting next to us at such a unity meeting. With the centrality of Christ being our glue (if it isn’t, good luck), we will find ourselves in a marriage of sorts. We’re both finding things out about each other that may be tough to swallow - but we do not ask for a divorce.
With that model, a miracle might occur in that we’ll both attend each other’s funeral.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Christ’s “High Priestly Prayer” will be answered when the church is one - not the same. The greater church is made up of people. When those people break barriers and deliberately choose to love others who are different (not necessarily all wrong), then the larger Body of Christ will begin to see Jesus’ unanswered-as-of-now prayer be answered.
And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross…My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Colossians 1:17-20 (MSG), John 17:20-23 (NIV)
On "Death's Sweet Dreams"
Good work today Bob! Jesus said It is only through the death of our dreams and our desires that we can truly experience the life that God has for us! That is truly the walk of faith.
Frank Wray, Delmar, NY