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Being Built Together - Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
Ephesians 2:19-22

This past Saturday, was our first free Saturday without anything going on in the evening in quite some time. I must admit, there was a sense of freedom that I was finally able to feel. No longer did I have to help organize an evening worship service to be a part of or an upcoming prayer time in the early morning. It was a rather bittersweet moment. Plenty of mixed emotions. Not sure how I am feeling at this time, but hey, no time to sit under a Juniper tree (like Elijah). So my wife Laura and our two little girls decided to go to a nearby park about 5 blocks away. It was a beautiful afternoon, where the sun was shining, and the “wees” (swings) as Maya labels them, were calling our name.

As we approached the park there were about 40-50 people celebrating a grandmother’s 71st birthday. The park was hopping with enthusiasm and good smelling barbeque. Maya absolutely enjoys this type of environment. She just loves observing (just like her parents…) as well as interacting with other people. God’s creation is so diverse and creative, and definitely full of personality (and we found this out quickly over by the swings). As I was pushing Maya in the swing, and Laura was pushing Nadia in her swing, a little boy came running over to us. He jumped onto the swing next to us, and just began talking to me like we were ol’ pals. I asked him his name and said, “Kevin.” I said, “Kevin, how old are you?” He said seven.

Right after I asked him his age, Kevin said, “Hey, we go to the same church.” I thought to myself, have I seen this little guy before? I have never seen him at our local congregation. Primarily our church is made up of white people. And Kevin was African-American. But that didn’t stop him telling me that we definitely go to the same church. I asked him, “Kevin what church do you go to?” He looked at me and said, “The church where everyone wears blue shirts.” For some reason it took me a second to click. I wasn’t following him. And then he said, “You know, we go to church at the TENT.” Instantly, I started smiling from ear to ear. God is so good.

You see, on the last night of the 40-day tent revival, I had volunteers place a baby-blue Dallas Revival t-shirt over the back of each chair. When a person walked INSIDE THE TENT, all one would see was a sea of baby blue shirts. And Kevin automatically identified us being the same members of the same church, not only because we worshipped God under the same tent, but because we all were given the same shirt.

But isn’t this the truth with our relationship with Jesus Christ anyway? Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we all are equal in the sight of God. We are now identified “as fellow citizens” not because we are known as Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, or Charismatics, but because of the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. We are members of the one and only “God’s household.” This household, built on the foundation established by the prophets and the apostles, “pointed to and witnessed to Jesus.” Without a doubt, “Christ Himself is the rock foundation on which the whole church rests.” He is our corner stone of the Christian faith. To understand the background of a cornerstone, one commentator illustrated through words, “The cornerstone was the first large stone placed at the corner of a building. The builders would line up the rest of the structure to the chief cornerstone.” Isn’t this an interesting statement? We are to live our lives according to “the way, and the truth, and the life” of Jesus Christ. No longer should we attempt to build something by ourselves and then try to fit Jesus into the picture. But rather, we should incorporate Jesus first as our corner stone, and then wonder how we fit into the picture.

To have Christ as our corner stone is difficult to maintain, but once we do, I believe we will all have the same perspective as my 7-year old friend Kevin has. With equal eyes, regardless if we are at a park, a tent, or a church building, we will begin to understand, that because of Jesus Christ, we are of one church ~ the Church of Dallas. To this thought, some might say, “But I don’t believe in speaking in tongues. Or I don’t agree with how they worship with their instruments. Or I don’t believe in using real wine compared to grape juice.” To all of these comments, I say, “STOP creating division. Stop putting up barriers.” It is time to understand that if Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, and He is our Corner Stone, then we are of the same body. No ifs, ands, or buts. We are members of the same body of Christ.

After spending 40-days with people INSIDE THE TENT from across denominational lines, different racial backgrounds, various styles of worship, I am convinced that we, as the body of Christ must come together if we desire to have an impact on our communities. We need to be unified in the Spirit. It will take time, energy, and effort. But I believe the process has begun here in Dallas. As the Church of Dallas, we are “being fitted together” and “growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom (we) also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan