A year and a half. That’s how long it took before any of us asked the question, “By the way, what church do you attend?”
The question seemed almost as inconsequential as the answer.
It wasn’t that the answer wasn’t important. On the contrary, we all cared deeply about each woman’s response. But not because a denomination would open or close a door between us.
We cared because the answer was part of our sister’s story.
Being accepted despite our differences is a theme that runs deep at Sisterhood Ministries. But we have a confession: we don’t deserve a pat on the back for it. In fact, we take little to no credit for it. Somehow—almost in a manner that defies logic—it just happened.
We have no explanation but one: Jesus.
We couldn’t do it without Him. We’re simply a bunch of gals, spread across the country, that love Jesus.
He’s the magnet. We’re the steel.
His pull has been so great, we’ve found ourselves pressed into one another; elbows linked; fingers laced. Accepting one another’s differences has been less of a conscious choice than it has been a by-product of Christ’s magnetism.
Make no mistake. We have differences.
We’ve got peacemakers and challengers.
We’ve got polar political parties.
We’ve got a broad spectrum of denominations.
We’ve even got distinctive views on fundamental issues like “Which is the better sweet? Gummy bears or chocolate?”
[Clearly, there is a correct answer to that question. How did I end up with these crazy girls who like gummy bears so much?!]
But at the end of it all…
We’ve. Got. Jesus.
But what does that mean when there’s someone in our life whose differences make life difficult?
Nope. Never said easy. Just possible.
The secret to the sauce can be found in ellipses. You know, the dot-dot-dot. I have a nasty habit of overusing them when I write.
I probably should take a class so I can be cured of this abuse, but I’m not sure there’s a professor on the planet who could dissuade my love of all that an ellipsis implies. It’s a literary tool that can mean . . .
THERE’S MORE TO THE STORY.
Christmas is closing in, and there are many reasons to celebrate, but I’m convinced that one of the greatest is the “more to the story” that Christ’s arrival made possible.
“But now that Christ has come, we don’t need those laws any longer to guard us and lead us to him. For now, we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by him. We are no longer Jews or Greeks or slaves or free men or even merely men or women, but we are all the same—we are Christians; we are one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28 TLB
We are all the same.
We are Christians.
We are one.
We are accepted despite our differences.
When it isn’t easy to love a sister, we can ask for a heavenly perspective. One that’s possible because Jesus came. He gets it, and He’s made provision for it. When we’re sincere in wanting to love as He does, He’ll help us through that process.
Christmas is the reason there is so much more to the story.
Here’s a link for one of my favorite Christmas Hymns, Joy to the World. I know it will be playing in my head on repeat all day. As it does, my prayer is that by His Spirit, the words that will ring most true will be these:
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The light of His righteousness
And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love!
Join me in praying?