Finding Common Ground

January 5, 2018

Scripture Reading: Acts 19:1-7
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them.

I do not believe in coincidences, but my Sunday school class discussed Acts 19 this week. I enjoined hearing others describe interacting with people with viewpoints different from theirs. We talked about the diverse ways Christians perceive Christ even today. And we talked about finding common ground on which we can strive for oneness. I think it is time we set our disagreements aside and identify the things on which we can agree working on them with all our hearts, souls, strengths and minds. There may be instances when we agree on the problem but not the solution. My guess is we need all the solutions possible to deal with some of the major issues of our day. Poverty, for example,  may be addressed by .clothing, and shelter; ending discrimination in all forms. Surely we could all identify our niche among such a diversity of responses that are all desperately needed.

I wonder whether we disagree because it is easier to differ than to deal with the differences. I wonder if we struggle with divergences in faith because our faith is thinly based on what we perceive to be right rather than on our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord, show us how to love one another and grow together in our love for you and all your children. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.