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One Lord, One Faith, 31 Flavors – … Meets Mr. Brown Suit

The Unity of the SpiritKey Bible Verse: So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified. Romans 15:7

Bonus Reading: Romans 15:5-6

[continued from yesterday]  One year the church hosted a two-day pastors’ conference. It required that our congregation provide beds and breakfast for the 60 pastors who would attend. I asked my people to sign up. Soon every pastor had a host family.

At the end of the first day of the conference, cars began arriving to pick up their guests. Soon every pastor was gone except one. He was a little man from a farming town in the central valley of California. He wore thick glasses and a conservative brown suit with a thin dark tie, and he carried a large Bible. Everything about him said rectitude, provinciality, control. He stood smiling and waiting patiently for his host to appear.

I checked the list to see who he had been matched with. It was Dave! Surfer Dave! Dos Equis Dave! I gasped in alarm. This was not a good match at all. For a moment I considered calling Dave to tell him we didn’t need his help after all, and checking this man into a local motel. I may have done just that if Dave had not at that moment careened into the parking lot, tires squealing. So I had no choice but to introduce them to each other.  [continued tomorrow]

—Ben Patterson in He Has Made Me Glad

My Response: Would I have shared this pastor’s apprehension about this match-up?

Thought to Apply: Paul’s vision is of a unity which is not denied by diversity, but which would be denied by uniformity—in a word, the unity of a body, the body of Christ. —James Dunn (theologian)

Adapted from He Has Made Me Glad (InterVarsity, 2005)

Prayer for the Week: Teach us, Lord, how to create bonds of cooperation and fellowship that invite others instead of erecting walls of self-preservation and competition that repel.


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