Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Tuesday, January 3 - A United Church In A Divided World

“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.” — Acts 13:1

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At 16, I began playing for a high school rugby team. We had Polynesian, Black, White, Hispanic and Asian players on the team. Our coach was half-Jewish and a youth pastor at a local church. It was a very diverse team.

At the end of the season, a teammate shared the Gospel with me and I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ. When I attended church for the first time, I was shocked. Here I was, a brand-new Christian, coming from a very diverse high school rugby team that practiced two blocks from the church, and as I entered the worship center for the first time, I saw that the congregants were all White. Later, I found out that racially-divided churches were the norm and not the exception. Obviously, this was not the vision of Jesus.

In the Book of Acts, we don’t find a single monoethnic church. There is no Jewish church and Greek church, there is just the Church. Though first-century cities were divided along ethnic lines, there isn’t a single monoethnic church in the New Testament. A great picture of this is in Acts 13:1-3. The city of Antioch was a very diverse city that was the center of trading and economics. The church was led by two Jews, two Africans and a European. It was a united church in a divided world.

Pray for this kind of Biblical unity in the Church today.

— Ikki Soma, Houston Rockets chaplain

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