Hymn #519 in Celebrating Grace Hymnal — “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing”
[pullquote_center width=”80%”]With praise and thanksgiving to God ever living,
The tasks of our everyday life we will face.
Our faith ever sharing, in love ever caring,
Embracing God’s children of each tribe and race.
With grace You now feed us, with light You now lead us;
Unite us as one in this life that we share.
Then may all the living with praise and thanksgiving
Give honor to Christ and that name which we bear.[/pullquote_center]
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be a Christian, until you run into other Christians? When you sing the songs, and read the Bible verses, and pray the prayers, everything fits and flows. Then you step outside the door and smack up against real life. You know, real life, where all the people are just different enough from you to create discomfort. Real life, where your culture and traditions are different enough from mine that I question whether we share a faith or not. If not for real life, being a Christian would be easier.
Except that we’ve got it wrong. Being a Christian only happens in real life. The songs, and prayers, and Bible stories — these are the practices, the exercises, the calisthenics that strengthen us for the real Christian life. The real Christian life is out in the streets, working beside and among those who are different from us, who claim our faith but look or practice a little differently.
We are called to it, and we are equipped for it, by God’s Spirit. By our unity we honor Christ’s name.