Pastor Mark’s eNote – Singular is Plural (and Vice Versa)

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    For us Christians, there is a vital moment of epiphany that signals a new maturity in God’s love. It is that simple moment when you (singular) look around yourself—in worship, perhaps, or some other time in Christian community—and realize “I am plural.” In other words, you’re not flying solo; you’re a part of a people, a body of believers. Obvious? Maybe. Important? Absolutely. To realize that the world is not all about me, after all, is an important step in human development. To realize that I am plural is an important step in Christian maturity.

Now, this realization is not self-effacement or self-denial. To say I am plural is not to say I am unimportant. To the contrary, it is to acknowledge that my life has real significance and weight beyond myself. What I do, how I speak, how I care, directly impact the lives of the people around me. In other words, YOUR (singular) prayers, YOUR presence, YOUR service, YOUR gifts, YOUR witness bless lives and serve Christ. You (singular) are important, because you are plural.

I am plural: That’s no small insight. But maturing as a Christian doesn’t stop there. The next step is to understand that WE are singular. For Paul, this affirmation was essential to the life and work of the church. In fact, for Paul, perhaps the first and greatest sign of the grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit was that Jews and gentiles, men and women, should be brought together in this new community called the church, the Body of Christ.

Has that changed? Of course not. The world still takes note of our unity and our brokenness. The health of the church and the vitality of its ministries are still affected mightily by how we care for each other and accept each other. That is certainly true for a local congregation, but it’s just as true for a denomination or for the church universal. We can focus on our differences or celebrate our common faith. We can belittle our fellow Christians who disagree with us or seek to build up the other in the love of Christ. For us Christians, there is actually something more important than being right.

It all sounds so simple, but, of course, it isn’t. Growing up never is. Christian maturity never quite fits with our old assumptions and points of view. That’s why we spend time together, wrestling with God’s call, pondering the strange and beautiful nature of this life in Jesus Christ.

Looking for a place where you can grow in this singular plurality?  Come to our GroupLink event on Sunday, January 28 at 4:30pm in the Worship Center.  Life Groups are a great way to connect as we grow TOGETHER in the truth and love of Christ.  Face it: You need us.  Face it: We need you.

In Christ,

Mark Westmoreland

Author: Mark Westmoreland

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