A Global Body
Have you ever climbed to the top of something just to see what you could see? At the top, you probably realized that there was so much more out there. This happened to Danielle and me the first we went climbing in Colorado. When you are standing at 14,000 ft above sea level… you can see a lot!
The story of the church in Acts is kind of like that. It is the story of something that is so much bigger than us. It is not limited simply by a geographic area or to a certain period of time. The story of the church is a global story, one that spans cultures and languages. It is also a story that spans time; it reaches back 2000 years and continues out into the future until Jesus comes back. And surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the disciples to see that what Jesus told them about being witnesses to the ends of the earth would come true. The gospel is about to turn the world upside down. People, families, and entire cultures will be changed by it. And it all started when the Holy Spirit arrived…
When the Spirit arrives, He is going to bring life by illuminating the truth of Jesus in the hearts of those present. Acts will tell us that, “Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. … Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Acts 2:5,9-11)
That is quite a list of cultures and countries! And all of them experienced the gift of eternal life through Jesus. It can be easy to get caught up in our time and our context. We can ask if God is moving like this anymore. Thankfully, it is in moments like this that we are to remember that we are part of something bigger than us. And, yes, God is still moving in radical ways. As a local church, that is, a local expression of the global body of Christ, we get to partner in and hear about how God is moving among the nations through our global partners. The reality is that we belong to a global body of believers and not just in a supporting relationship. We are, in a more complete sense, bound together as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are a family, a global family of Christians. Have you ever thought of your connection to believers in other counties, states, and countries that way before? We are part of something bigger than just the local expression we engage in weekly, and that is a wonderful gift that is made real through Christ’s work on the cross. As a family, we are to be concerned for one another, support one another, and encourage one another.
Church can feel small and local (that’s not bad or wrong), but the beautiful reality is that as we gather locally, we are reminded that we are part of something bigger.