7 On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. 8 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. (Galatians 2:7-8 NIV)
One of the beautiful aspects of the Body of Christ that I love so much is its broad diversity. You can go to any country in the world and find Jesus’ followers. You can walk the unpaved paths of the poorest slums or drive through the gates of the wealthiest neighborhoods and find Jesus’ followers. Jesus transcends political party affiliation. He bridges the gap of racial tensions. The blood that binds us together is stronger than…you fill in the blank.
These things are true and yet I am disturbed by what is taking place within the Body of Christ today. It is as if we have made “uniformity” rather than “unity” our goal. We are united in Jesus, by Jesus’ death and resurrection, and we are called to carry that message to the world. We are not to be clones of one another, or of some “successful” Christian we know, but we are to desire to be a reflection of Jesus to this broken world.
Paul and Peter were very different people. They had vastly different callings on their lives. Paul was called to minister to the Gentiles; Peter to the Jews. Yet, in Galatians 2:8, Paul says God was at work in both. God has blessed me by calling me to minister in the inner-city for more than 20 years. A great friend of mine ministers in a wealthy suburb of Texas. Another friend ministers as a grade school teacher in Oklahoma City. A buddy of mine ministers waiting tables at a restaurant while another friend ministers in one of the largest corporations in the world. We all work, or minister, in different ways, but it is God who is at work in all of us. We need to celebrate His work.
What is the remedy to the problem we are facing in the Body of Christ today? Well, I think it is found in Galatians 2:9 where Paul says that he, Barnabas, James, Peter, and John all agreed that they should “go.” Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles; Peter, James, and John to the Jews. They were going to go and minister. They weren’t going to sit around and scrutinize one another, they were going to go. They weren’t going to keep a watch on one another, they were going to be busy doing what God had called them to do. We should learn from them. Get up and go. As you go you will be amazed at those you will run into who have heard that call as well. We need to be less busy busying ourselves with other’s business and go with the Good News.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will keep me focused on those you have called me to minister to so that I might not be distracted by lesser things can steal my time and do great damage to the Body of Christ and Your name.