Are We Different? No, Not at All!

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

When you are at a worship service, do you look around at the other people there? Sometimes our eyes and minds pick up on what is different from us. We see the differences in the way they look, the clothes they wear, the color of their skin, or their age. What crazy clothes! What outrageous hair! They’re 47 years older or younger than me – what could we have in common?

Our sinful nature likes to notice all the differences. We use those differences to further separate ourselves from others. This probably doesn’t come as a shock to you – you’ve done it and others have done it to you. And, we’ve done it to God. God commands us to do good and holy things. When we choose to do something different, we show our true, sinful colors. We are different from God. We show that difference when we choose to do what he hates.

But God has done something remarkable. God unites those who are VERY different. We are sinners. God is absolutely perfect, holy and sinless. God hates sin. In love, God chose to unite us to him. God loves us even though we are very different from him. He chose to unite sinners like you and me to him!

When did God do this? In Baptism, God washes sin away. The Holy Spirit works through the water and God’s Word. God forgives our sins. God unites us to himself. God makes us a part of his body – closely and firmly connected to him. Although we were different, God made us holy and connected us to him.

God also promises that when the Holy Spirit connected us to God in Baptism, he also connected us with all other believers who have been baptized. Although God has blessed us with different personalities, different gifts, different skin colors, different hairstyles and fashion sense, the Holy Spirit has made us part of ONE BODY. Next time you sit in church and look around at everyone else, take a moment to marvel. People so different have been made ONE. The Holy Spirit unites us to God and to each other.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, sometimes I feel alone and isolated. Thank you for loving me in spite of all my sins, and for washing all my sins away. Comfort me with the good news that I am never alone because you have connected me to God and to all believers. Amen.


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