Unique and Unified
05.01.22 | The Shepherd's Voice | by Sam Maconachy
Pastor and theologian Oswald Chambers once wrote: “Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.” One of the most wonderful and amazing things to think about our Lord is that He is the Creator, God’s not a duplicator. Along these line, the quote above pairs well with another pastor’s famous saying, Mr. Fred Rogers: “You are a very special person. There is only one like you in the whole world. There's never been anyone exactly like you before, and there will never be again. Only you.” The two go together like cookies and milk, bread and butter, Law and Gospel.
They speak on a humbling truth that resonates deep within: God knows exactly who you are and there is no one ever quite like you in the way He made you to be before, now, and tomorrow. This should be humbling in a way that drives us to love and thank God, but also see that truth in those God wants us to reach out to and how we see them.
We’re getting ready for Pentecost. It is a powerful fulfillment of God’s promise to dwell with His people. This time from the inside – out (see Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 11, Joel 2, John 16). As if that weren’t holy and awesome enough, through the Holy Spirit, God transforms and shapes us uniquely together as one unified whole. How we experience this change is our own and original to us, but in a way that bring us together to serve the Lord and share the life-saving message of the Gospel.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
If you were to open up your kitchen utensil drawer, what would it contain? Hopefully it wouldn’t be only filled with forks and no other utensils. That would not come in handy if someone came over and asked to eat a bowl of soup. Forks aren’t good for soup. Ideally, our drawer would be complete with various utensils to be used in different ways to feed people. In the same way, God has created and shaped each and every one of you uniquely to fulfill His Gospel desires for the Church to feed those coming in looking to be fed with true food—Jesus Christ. God did not create any of us to be the same (unique); He does fill us with the Holy Spirit to keep us in the same mind (unified). We the Church are individual people living Spirit-filled lives together for His saving purposes. Let God be original in how He works in others as He is in you. Be patient. Be kind. Be involved. You always have something to uniquely give and bless in this church body to help bring us all into wonderful unison together in the Lord Jesus.
Uniquely unified in Christ,