“In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into the one body by the same Spirit”.
1 Cor 12:13 GNB
One of the most awkward facts of human existence is the vast array of diverse people scrambling around on planet earth to get food, do work and to communicate. Why should some people be Spaniards, others Zimbabweans, others Chinese and yet others Pacific Islanders? All have their customs, their characteristics, their languages, their culture. What is more some Pacific Islanders have a Christian faith, some don’t. Some Zimbabweans are Christians, others are atheists. The diversity causes much confusion. It also causes fear, misunderstanding, and animosity.
The faith Jesus came to create was intended to draw people together – diverse people. At Pentecost it did that. The Spirit created a new people held together by their all being “in Christ”. But then the new faith went out and embraced people even more diverse and different. Were the original believers at Pentecost – the front-rowers – better than the late-comers? Paul knew the answer, “No they were not”. All were on a par with each other because all were on a par in Christ. Their baptism ranked them together and bound them to Christ. Christ united them to and with each other.
That principle is still the guiding fact amidst the far greater diversities of today. The wealthy, English-speaking middle class suburban dweller in New Zealand is one with the poor, Shona-speaking farm labourer in Zimbabwe, when both are baptized into Christ. Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Brethren, Presbyterians all come together, bound by the Holy Spirit. The visible uniting of all Christian believers together is still a long way off. But God wills it, and Christ will one day be “all-in-all”.
Lord, bring to fruition the unity of all believers in Christ.