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On Being Subject

On Being Subject

by Josh Caudill

"Be subject for the Lord's sake..." (1 Peter 2:13a).

Yesterday afternoon, I unexpectedly got to see one of my favorite musicians perform. He sang a song about the power of stepping into the lives of those around you and sharing both the pleasant and the heartbreaking experiences. It was incredibly convicting. Yesterday evening, I got to participate in a prayer gathering for racial reconciliation in our state. I got to hear stories of people whose lives are very different from mine by no choice of their own, but because of prejudice. It was incredibly convicting.

Yet as I drove home, I did not feel exhausted. Rather, I felt that it had truly been a Sabbath day. If I may confess, it was something of an unusual feeling. I attended a worship service in the morning, but I got to be in church all day long.

I realize that in 1 Peter 2:13, human institutions are being discussed, but as you read the rest of the chapter--especially when Peter begins to describe the heart of service of Jesus--I get the impression that there's a parallel call here to subject ourselves to human persons.

What results in the church is diversity. And what results from diversity is unity. The church is strongest not when we all agree at all points, but when we recognize that we agree on Jesus. Jesus, after all, did not surround himself with people like him. How could he? As holy God, he is fundamentally distinct. But he spent his time with fishermen, except for when he spent his time with children, or when he was with tax collectors, or with the women who followed his ministry all the way to the grave. Jesus clearly knew that his ministry was strengthened through diversity. Why shouldn't ours be?

I won't pretend that engaging with people whose lives and interests are different is always an easy task, but I find it hard to look closely at the Gospel--at God's kingdom--in the Bible and not see it's essential role.

This week, look around you. Look for people whose stories are different from yours. If you don't see any, go out and find some. Glorify God in your heart that he works in all of our unique circumstances and that he brings us together.

Grace & Peace
Josh Caudill