Difference as a Bridge
Here are some thoughts that have been running through my heart and mind as I've been processing life.
As Christians, we respect differences among God’s family because we understand that God’s image is so much beyond that which can be contained in one human being. Furthermore we see differences as opportunities to experience God anew. Differences are opportunities to experience God in a new way.
For example, in the area of differences regarding music. So a brother or sister in the church enjoys a kind of music that doesn’t connect. Instead of getting stuck on the difference, and then allowing the difference to become a wall, God’s indwelling Spirit helps us see this kind of music as a reminder of the immensity of God, of who God is, and how God is much bigger than my own experience of God. And if I want to experience God anew, perhaps that different style of music may be what God’s Spirit is going to use to help me know God in a new way. The difference becomes a bridge to a deeper relationship with God, a relationship with God in which we cry out, Abba, Daddy.
A distinctive of the Family of God is that differences are reminders of how God is so much beyond that which can be contained in one human being, except for one God-person, Jesus Christ. And it is because of the ministry of redemption of that one God-person, Jesus Christ, that we are sons and daughters of the same Good Father.
God our Father invites us as his children, as his sons and daughters, to draw near to him and to draw near to each other. We do that by....
- honoring and respecting one’s past identity, identifying one’s present identity, and cooperating with God as he creates one’s future identity.
- recognizing our identity is based on Jesus’ ministry of redemption.
- receiving God’s Spirit indwelling within us
- being so intimate and close with God our Father that we can call him Abba, Daddy
- embracing God’s love as we are adopted as God’s children
- and as God’s Spirit enables us to see differences as opportunities to experience God anew.
These thoughts come from Galatians 4:4-7.
I invite you to think of a difference between you and a brother or sister in the family of God. It can be a big one within your mind and heart or it can be a small one. And as you think and perhaps even start feeling the difference within you, I invite you to bring this difference to Jesus through this listening prayer.
God, you remind us that you love all people. And that because of your love for all people, people are transformed from foreigners and strangers to adopted children, brothers and sisters. But Jesus, sometimes there are differences between your adopted children, between the brothers and sisters. This morning, I’m thinking of a difference between another sister/brother and myself. I recognize that this difference has the potential of becoming a wall, if it already has not. Jesus, can you give me a picture of my heart showing me what this difference is doing to my heart? Can you give me a picture of the other person’s heart? Jesus how would you like to use this difference to help me see you, and to experience you in a new way? I desire to experience you God more deeply. More closer. I desire to call you Abba Daddy. Jesus, is it possible that this difference will help me experience you as my Abba Daddy? Thank you Jesus for your ministry of redemption. Your ministry of reconciliation. Thank you for my brothers and sisters. Thank you for the differences between us, as your Spirit is helping me to see them as ways of experiencing you more fully, and knowing you more intimately. For the glory of God Almighty and in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.
If you desire a time of listening prayer with regard to a difference, I welcome an opportunity to listen together as Jesus cares deeply for your heart.