2020-07-28 - Centipedes
As the builder and his crew constructed our house on a wooded lot, I believe that they disturbed a neighborhood of centipedes, for we have had occasional visits from the 100-legged critters, ever since we moved here. At least, we have fewer appearances by their 1000-legged cousins, the millipedes. While I am brave about bees and other things, I am a wimpy coward when it comes to the creepy-crawly bugs. While I was recently recovering from another centipede visit, I started thinking about how coordinated their legs are. What if 50 of their legs tried to walk one way, while the other 50 took off in another direction?! It would be a disaster for the ‘pedes, if that were to happen, though I am pretty sure that it wouldn't upset me!
It is pretty obvious that God has built their intricate little brains in such a manner that they are able to coordinate their legs efficiently to work in tandem, especially when they are fleeing from us, to hide out under a sofa or cabinet! That thought led me to consider how we Christians should learn from the &lsqo;pedes, and work together toward God's purposes. There will always be differences among church family members and other Christians. I understand how it is to know actual verified facts, things you know for sure, yet see good and well-intentioned people misled. Believe me, I understand the frustrations, especially when there is a lot at stake for everyone, and people do not see it! I know that it sometimes feels like hitting one's head against concrete! And I wonder if God sometimes feels that way when He is dealing with us. ; )
But all we can do is our part, sharing the factual info and then ask GOD to open hearts and eyes. Then there are some who are offended by the truth, or think you are being negative But Christ and the Apostle Paul never were worried about that, and they didn't flinch words. As examples, see Matthew 23: 33 (Christ said) “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"
Ephesians 5: 11 where Paul wrote, "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." You can't expose them without telling facts.
In fact, we see all around us what happens when people stop distinguishing evil from good, as the prophet Isaiah spoke of in Isaiah 5:20 (ESV) Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter
But today, I am mostly thinking of things that aren't matter of fact, but rather just matters of opinion or preference. As a lifelong, active church member, I have at times been amazed at how long people could debate over such issues as "where should we buy the Easter Lilies" or "what shade should we paint the sanctuary when it is needed?" As another common example, some prefer contemporary music, others think only traditional will do - while some of us enjoy a variety. At this time, there are additional divergences. Some members feel strongly that it is too early to return to church, because this virus can spread, especially when people take off their masks to sing or talk, and for them, church isn't limited to a certain schedule or location, but can "gather together" in any form. Others feel just as strongly that it is wrong to not worship in a certain building at a certain time each week, that it is a commitment.
But we can put these types of things aside, to focus on the church's priorities, on which we can and should agree. We all know that we are to share our faith via supporting evangelism. For some, that means going door to door, while for most of us, it entails something less formal such as supporting missionaries or evangelists financially or just being there to let a friend know how God helped us in a situation similar to theirs (1 Peter 3, Mark 16). In addition, we all know that the church is God's hands and feet, as far as helping those in need. Whether it is someone who has lost a job and needs a little temporary help with bills, could use transportation to a medical appointment - or someone whose house just burned - we are to be "someone with skin on," to help with needs that arise (Janes 2). We all understand that Jeremiah and other books of the Bible teach us that each life is precious from the day it is conceived, and is made in God's image (Jeremiah 1).
May we Christians focus on what we do agree on, in accomplishing God's will. For if we all pitch in, to do our part to pray together and work together, we can make a difference where it is needed.
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.