Friday, Feb 1, 2019. Two weeks ago I attended a Christian service in a very young and dynamic church in Kobe, Japan. I arrived a day before for a conference, which took place there at the local supercomputing center. So I looked in the internet and found a worship service for Sunday 10am, and I dropped in there to join the congregation. There were many young people, students and people with small kids - in a very exciting atmosphere. It was 20 minutes of worship and dance, then some dedication of two kids, sermon, prayer, vision day for 2019 and much more.
Community without Limits …
When it comes to Christian community, it is a community without the limits and boundaries of nation or origin. In Jesus Christ, we are one people. We are his, and our origin or language or the way we have been shaped before is no longer important. What is important is that HE shapes us now!
In Colossians 3, Paul writes about this words which had their echos throughout the centuries:
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. (Col 3, 11)
As a Christian, you can come to other Christians in many countries, and you find astonishing community right away. I had this experience many times in the past, with people from the UK, from France, from Japan, from Germany, from Korea, from Pakistan, from the USA …
Through Christ …
Christ can do astonishing things. There is a spirit in Christian community which is showing a deep band between Christians from very different background. A week ago in Kobe, I had nice chats with different people, one of them was the pastor of the church, originally from Australia, now in Japan. The whole worship service was in Japanese and English, with people from different countries of Asia attending the service.
To have community with many nations is a deep experience. In science, of course, we have this experience all the time. We meet colleagues from dozens of countries, work with them, discuss and exchange ideas. That is great as well! But I still think that Christian community is shaped one layer deeper.
The holy spirit is there, and it is not just an idea that the spirit of Jesus lives in us, who believe. He is reality. And we are all one through this spirit, all who are believers and disciples of Christ. We are all one through him, with all our differences, our personal history and our character. In him, differences become valuable assets. In him, our personal history becomes our special contribution to the community. There is so much to be gained, and the experiences with churches around the globe give us a tiny vision about what heaven might look like, when all who believe in him are united in a great feast. (Roland Potthast) ... further texts