By Dan Amos
I’ve been doing a lot of traveling for work lately. When I’m walking or driving in unfamiliar areas, I often get the sense of being disconnected from those around me. TV, radio, and the Internet all tell me that the world is in conflict with God and us with one another. So, as I’m driving in Ohio, I look around and see strangers, people with whom I have nothing in common.
Recently I went to London for a conference. I arrived early enough on Sunday to make it to the 10 a.m. service at Westminster Abbey. If the Internet service on my current flight would work, I would look up the dimensions of the cathedral and tell you how old it is and how many famous people are buried there. I can’t, so I’ll tell you about the worship service.
Other than the people running the service and the men’s choir, everyone in attendance was probably a tourist. Most of the service was sung by the men and the boys of the Abbey school. It was nothing we would recognize; there was no familiar melody. It was all poems to God set to music and accompanied by the huge pipe organ. Our participation was limited to listening, a responsive reading, reciting the Apostles’ Creed, and giving in the offering plate.
Then the first man in a gilded robe walked to the front, climbed into the cupola on the right, and read from the book of Luke about Jesus having dinner with the Pharisees. Another read a different passage. Finally, the senior pastor ascended into the ornate cupola on the left and gave a 20-minute sermon based on the passages that had been read.
The following Sunday I was privileged to hear Pastor Brian speak from Matthew about Jesus and His interaction with the Pharisees. How wonderful it is to be a part of a Church whose God is the same on the other side of the world as He is on ours. They worship the same God as we do. We have a connection that cannot be broken.
It is clear the world and its prince would have us stay disconnected from one another. Satan is working hard to divide us, and he’s having great success. But Christ binds His Church together, and as we get separated from the world as children of God, the difference becomes starker. “An Oasis for Renewal with God and One Another” is more than a motto. It is our mission, because it is God’s mission for us.