Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Loves Even Me"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 7:1 – Judge not, that ye be not judged. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 – Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. (KJV)
This devotional has been running around my mind and onto several pieces of paper several times for months, and in that time, horrendous wars have erupted in the world with unspeakable atrocities committed. So the irony and seriousness of what I write has intensified. It is this:
For the better part of the past five years, I have travelled from Vancouver Island to the mainland of British Columbia, Canada, at least twice a month for a week at a time to care for our youngest grandchildren. The trip is two hours by ferry, an hour by bus, and a five-block walk to their home.
One day, now many months ago, while on the bus, a young gentleman, with a huge backpack and some other gear, gave up his seat and moved to another one, three separate times, to let seniors sit down, one of whom had a disability.
The last move put him right beside me, at which I said, "Boy, you're sure playing musical chairs today, aren't you!"
"Musical chairs?" he asked. "What is this?" So I began to explain that it was an age-old game in which a group of children walk around chairs to music … "Ah!" he said, twirling his fingers in a circle. "And when the music stops, you sit down, but one is left out." "Yes!" I replied.
"I am German," he said, "and we call this 'Journey to Jerusalem'; I do not know why." Not only did I not know why, I'd not ever heard of it.
Arriving back home, I googled "Journey to Jerusalem" and found that the game is played by that name around the world, and it is as old as the ages, sometimes called "Trip to Jerusalem". Though the origin is unclear, it is thought to date back possibly to the Crusades.
Was his term right? Was mine? Were we not both seeing that they were one and the same?
We share so many of the same foods, games, flowers, plants and other things with so many other countries, each with their own names, but all the same. Instead of anyone insisting their way/definition is right, we need to be accepting that many are one and the same.
Is this not true also of our God – our Father, the Holy Spirit, and so many other terms by which He is addressed? A wise rabbi decades ago said, "We are all called to the same table; we just sit in different chairs." Jesus has said:
John 14:2-3,6 – In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, guide us to a place of accepting one another's differences yet samenesses. Lead us to press for peace. Much fighting and many wars never prove or solve anything; they just leave indelible destruction in their wake. In Jesus' name, we pray and give thanks for each and every day. Amen.