image_2 ~Unite~

All believers were together and had everything in common. ~Acts 2:44

“There is no life that is not in community. And no community not lived in the praise of God.” ~T.S. Elliot

Thursday night finds me tucked on and underneath a mountain of down, softening the blow of gnawing physical pain. My kindle in one hand, phone on the pillow. I monitor Twitter, more like stalk, specifically the #fmfparty and @k8motaung. I lie in wait for Friday’s One Word, hesitant to jump in to the fray.

My extroverted self, the spiritual gift of gab, still I hold back. I watch as this group unite in virtual space, sharing life, sharing their gift of words, encouragement, their love for Jesus.

Holding back, watching the exchange of words and pleasantries, in awe of women who bring their transparent, authentic self to the table.

In today’s society, we have learned to conquer and divide. Critique and compete. Slash wounds across hearts of others while wallowing in our own insecurities. We hide behind our Pinterest facades and our Facebook posts, for fear that the messy of living out real life might seep out. Taint us in some way.

Words bleed deep from my soul across the page. I. Feel. Safe. Here. Included, accepted. United with others as they do the same.

I believe it was Candace Cameron Bure who said, “…when Jesus is the common denominator, everything changes.”

Jesus UNITES, when we open the door, set at the table, and pull up a chair. Lay bare our insecurities and vulnerabilities. Lay down the masks and share our messy, beautiful selves.

It’s a thing of beauty to witness. Community. Community with Jesus at the center.

The ultimate picture of unity comes in Acts, chapter two. The first early church. Our model today. At least, it should be.

Rather than argue theology, pews verses chairs, contemporary verses traditional…What would it look like if we brought our differences to the table? Loved as Jesus? Allowed Him to be the common denominator?

Would we see a people unite?

“And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common.” ~Acts 2:44

The Message 

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn