I can sing but I cannot sing well. I am not even sure what a key is or if I am hitting a note. I just sing. I’ve been told to pipe down on numerous occasions and I have accepted that it is not a gift of mine. However we each have a voice with which to sing and Paul talks about us being a choir. Yep, all of us joined together can be a beautiful choir.
Today’s passage says that not only will our voices sing, our very lives will sing in harmony. But how is this possible? Paul says we each “should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (v.2 NIV). We should accept each other just as Christ has accepted us. Paul also says that God gives endurance and encouragement and He is able to give each of us the same attitude of mind.
It is not a small task, but God gives us what we need to get it accomplished. As we seek God for endurance and encouragement, as we continue to accept others as He has accepted us, we will grow in Christ and our spiritual maturity will bring us together with one mind and one voice so we can praise the God, singing in harmony—not only with our voices but with our very lives.
“May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!” – Romans 15:5-6 [MSG]
As I drove down the street, I noticed that the sidewalk that was recently redone to allow pedestrians safer travel was being changed. It made no sense to me why there was any need to do more work to the area. When I peered closer, I noticed that the sidewalk was constructed to purposely block people from easy access to the church that was located in the same area. There was a barrier making it more difficult for someone to enter the church.
I thought to myself about this barrier and how it reminded me of the barriers that are all around us when it comes to church. There are some people who are kept from going to church. There are others who are turned away from the church. There are others who do not feel welcomed at church. Of course, there are others who want nothing to do with church or with God. From my vantage point, so many people are unable to pass one of these barriers.
During the Christmas season, more people walk through the church doors; some people have not entered since last year and for others it is their first time in a church. I encourage you to be welcoming to all as Christ was loving and caring for the needs of all people. The church is not a building. We are the church. We are called to be a holy people, set apart for God. Let us remember this special calling and act upon it. Let us reach out and hold the door open to all who wish to enter, and even go the extra mile to invite those who have never entered and who aren’t very interested in coming. Shine the Light.
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
– Romans 15:7 [ESV]