Alike In So Many Ways

Indian Christians are like Christians from the United States. They are born sinners in need of a savior. Like us, they believe lies about God, about the creation, and about themselves. They are distracted by the world and can love the world like we do. When they neglect their Bibles, they wander in darkness.

Indian Christians like Christians everywhere love to sing. Their songs have different words but the same themes: God’s grace and mercy, Christ’s death and resurrection, the Church, expressions of commitment, petitions for intervention, thankfulness for blessings, and hymns of highest praise. They sing about the cross and forgiveness, hope and assurance.

As we do, Indian Christians gather on the Lord’s Day, greet each other warmly, listen attentively to the preaching of the Word of God, and give generously to the support of the gospel and its expansion.

Unlike us, Indian Christians do not need explanations of some Bible ideas like many western Christians do. For example, no Indian pastor has to explain the meaning of “are like chaff which the wind drives away (Ps. 1:4)” or “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27). They know from their earliest days what this means. Most of them have seen it first hand or have engaged in the practice. Sermons need not be long on explanation but can be powerful in application.

A trip to the East asserts once again that Christianity is not - in any way, shape, or form - a western religion. Christianity’s imagery, landscape, and characters are eastern. Western minds gain much from visits to the East, conversations with eastern Christians, and sharing in the life of the church in the East. I rejoice at the opportunity.

To paraphrase Paul, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. There is no Indian or American, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Though not Indian, throughout the last year, our church prayed for 40 African members. That prayer remains my hope for our church. African Christians live all around our church building. They have left their home country to come to the United States. When they left their country, they left their Christian communities. They need a new one. Could our church be their church too?

I hope and pray.

As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.