When I first looked at these flowers, the first thing that popped into my mind after being awed by how beautiful they were was, ” We are all the same, just at different stages of development, so let’s just be kind to each other!”
I intended to share the photo along with a few thoughts last night, but I confess that I got kind of ‘comfie’ on my patio at dusk last evening, and then was too tired to do something as complicated as thinking & typing. Haha!!
However, this morning, I was glad that I waited because as I read my devotional material, twice Scriptures and writings spoke directly to this topic. So, now I have a little more ‘meat & bread’ to share with you.
The Bible speaks in numerous places about how we are “one”. In John 15:5, Jesus tells us that He is the “Vine” and we are the “branches”. The picture above is a good illustration of that. There is a stem,(vine) and off of that are the buds & blossoms (branches). One of us may still be in the bud stage while another has already bloomed, but neither of us has any room for pride or arrogance. We are the same, just in different stages of development.
The book of Ephesians is full of teachings about how we are all one in Christ, (Chapters 2 & 4, especially), and that we should act like it. Chapter 4:1-3 tells us to “live worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity.” (CSB)
Romans 12:3 tells us that “everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think.” A few verses later, the author tells us that, ” in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-22 speaks again about how we are all members of one body. Following that, we are told that we should give honor to the weaker/less honorable parts, an that there should be no divisions, but that we should “have the same concern for each other.”(v. 25.)
And, in John 13:34-35, Jesus tells us, ” I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I remember once when I was in Taiwan back in 1974 or 1975, that a non-Christian visitor to our church was asked at the end of the service, “Well, what do you think?” Her response was, “Wow! You all really love each other!” And just in the last few days, I have read a testimony of a Muslim who visited a church and was moved by the love that they saw expressed by the Christians.
So, my thoughts today are that we are like that branch that I saw on the rhododendron bush last night. We may be in different stages of development, but our life source comes from one vine. We are all the same, and all in need of and dependent upon our Lord, Jesus Christ. So, let’s put away the fighting and criticizing and division, and be loving and kind to one another! There are many watching us!! What do they see? Does what they see cause them to want to know more or less about Christ?