Unity And Solidarity
When Mary and I moved to Midlothian to join about eight couples and help start the Bible Church, I will never forget the encouragement we received from First Baptist of Midlothian. They were the established, “big” church in town, and we were the baby meeting in a childcare center. Their pastor and leadership asked if they could send their praise team over on a Sunday morning to join us in worship. They came and the unity in serving the Lord together remains to this day.
In the first century world of Palestine, Jews and Samaritans were as divided as Israelis and Palestinians are today. When Philip, a Jew, brought the Good News about Jesus the Messiah to Samaria and they believed, the Jerusalem Church could have remained aloof and continued the racial barriers that divided them. Instead, they sent Peter and John, their two most influential, apostolic leaders, to check things out and bless. Even the Holy Spirit waited until two apostles arrived on the scene from Jerusalem to enter into the new Samaritan believers. There could be no schism between Jerusalem and Samaria in Jesus’ family, and no doubt that the gift of the Spirit must never be disconnected from obedience to the inspired apostolic message.
“When the Apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet come upon any of them. They had only been baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on then and they received the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-17
LORD, you know all about the two new baby churches Mary and I are cheering on. Thanks for the older mature churches that are reaching out and providing prayer, people, and finances to get these new works on their feet. And, in a country where racial divisions have strengthened again, prove that your Church can tear down the walls.
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