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The Gospel Gathers

Heart pumping, arms swinging, feet racing rhythmically. I almost pass it. But out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of it. Coming to a complete stand still, I press pause on my headphones to hear the beat of something else.

Nestled between a bustling highway and a quiet neighborhood, the flow of a feeble river filled my eardrum. What is it that drew me in? Caused me to stop? Moved me to look around and take in the scenery? As still as my body had become, my mind began racing.

Noticing—white snowdrop flowers rising through patches of grass. A vivid reflection in the stream of water turning my attention from looking down to looking up, up at a vibrant green canopy of leaves gently pushed by the wind—to and fro.

Questioning—wasn’t it just winter last week? How did spring arrive so fast? Look at the water rushing its way around the scattered rocks. (Those water droplets can come together to create such a roaring sound?)

I allow myself to sit on a bench. Still mystified. Still observing. Still pondering.
I breathe in all the worries at once and—exhale, imagining them being carried away by the current.

It’s like I can’t look long enough. I can’t convince my legs to pass this by.
I stare so intensely, sit so still—afraid to look away, afraid I’ll miss something.

A blue jay darts by; wings folded back in determination to reach its destination.

Captivated by a moment so full of wonder, I think, “Perhaps my destination is right here, in utter admiration of nature’s mysteries.” Everything else fades in comparison to sitting and dwelling in this.

It’s the mystery. In a similar way that I was mystified by nature doing what it was created to do, the Bible speaks of an even greater mystery.

Colossians 1:26-27: “the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

As Christians, we’ve been let in on the glorious riches of such a mystery. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life that humankind never could, yet he died a death that we should have—a death that we deserved, raising to life again with complete victory over death and the grave. But why? So that you and I could have a chance at relationship with an oh so holy God.

And when we believe that Jesus is who he says he is and has done what he’s said he’s done, and when we trust in Him as not only our Savior, but as our Lord, well, things change. We become one with Christ.

In Christ we are a new creation.
In Christ the old has passed.
In Christ the new has come.
In Christ we have the hope of GLORY!

And that should cause us to sit in awe of him, to be captivated by a message that seems just too good to be true—to endlessly thank God that it is and to ponder “How can this even be?” I rebelled, still he came after me. I was entangled and held prisoner by my sin, yet he was relentless in pursuit of me. Absolutely astonishing.

So, what draws us in? What gathers us and brings us together despite our differences and preferences or opinions and political stances? What transcends it all?

If you ask me, it is the captivating truth that Christ dwells within every believer drawing us in to sit still in awe of him. And as he draws us in to him, we look around and see one another, our brothers and sisters, children of God, being made more and more like Jesus.

In Acts 2:46-47, Paul paints a picture of what it looks like for believers to gather together.

“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

-Liz Robinson (MH College Leader)