We are all together

th-4Over the years I have had the incredible privilege of traveling and sharing the ministry with so many different people in different environments representing different systems of belief and traditions of faith, and the overwhelming conclusion I have come away with in every case, is not how different, but how much the same, we are. Even those who on the surface may appear to be enemies — some of them carrying a history of conflict over certain theological differences or cultural disagreements— with deeper understandings, these differences fall away. In every case, among groups who are supposed to disagree, I have found agreement.

For instance, I’ve been told by Lutherans that I would make a good Lutheran. Reformists have told me that I would make a good reformer. Anabaptists have told me that I would make a good Anabaptist (and I’m not even sure exactly what an Anabaptist is!). Yes, and I have been told by Catholics that I would make a good Catholic. Yet I am not conscious of trying to make any of these connections. I am only aware of speaking the truth as I am coming to understand it. So what this tells me is that truth resides in many, if not most, Christian traditions. If you run deep enough, and focus on the reality of how faith meets us at our point of need, you will discover that we all draw from the same well. Distinctions fall away when you sit down around the table of the Lord, and whether it’s wine or grape juice, crackers or bread, it’s the body of Christ broken for us, and blood of the new covenant made available to all by faith.

You can be pre- or post-millennial, sprinkled or dunked, you can be a five-point Calvinist or a one-point Jesus freak, filled with the Spirit or baptized in the same, you can be eternally secure or daily confirmed, liturgical or non-liturgical, reverend or pastor, contemporary or traditional; but when we all draw on what we need to face death, depression, danger or disease, we all find strength from the same Spirit, forgiveness from the same blood, wisdom from the same mind of Christ and comfort from the same Father God.

Our job is not to find out what is wrong with everybody we disagree with, but what is right with everyone who follows Christ. Find out what we hold in common and you will find out what really matters. Connect over Jesus. Pray together. Open the scriptures together.

That’s what is unique about this fellowship where we emphasize the Gospel of Welcome and grace turned outward. We don’t know each other’s religious or denominational affiliations or lack of them. We don’t see these distinctions, nor do we care. We are all merely seeking the truth, finding Christ and learning what it means to follow Him. What more is there?

We Are All Together
Words and music by John Fischer

Adam stood in the garden and thought
That no one was watching
And he was free to do whatever he pleased
No one would see
But he failed to see that he was part of one
Humanity, and all who came after
Would suffer for their own selfish ways
All of their days

You can’t imagine that you have the right
To live your own life
Thinking you’re the only one
And no one will care what you do

You don’t live alone
We are all one in the Lord
You don’t sin alone
We must all bear the same load

You don’t live alone
We are all one in the Lord
You don’t sing alone
We must all sing the same chord

Don’t you know that we are all together
Don’t forget that we are all together
Remember we are all together
Don’t forget that we are all together
In the Lord

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5 Responses to We are all together

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Dear Pastor John I LOVED today’s Catch for a few reasons, yet this caught me off guard as I listened to your song and heard & read this: “We must all bear the same load” I maybe wrong, I often am and pretty sure i’ll be again in the future, yet plz correct me me if i am again. I’m having a bit of trouble agreeing w/ that…

    Simply becauz I think/believe we all do not bear the ‘same load’ I would never tell that to someone who is suffering & maybe dying from Cancer – from someone that was been raped, or suffering from physical & or emotional abuse – Or as what as happened to me – Been in a coma and in the Hospital for over one half year because of it – had two stokes, yet I would never ever even think about trying to tell someone that’s has Cancer: ” “We must all bear the same load” Becauz has i see it God for whatever reason He has decided to let others ‘bear’ a bit more suffering…

    Yet in conclusion I LOVED today’s Catch becauz i do not like to play the ‘denomination game.’ and look for has you wrote: “..found agreement.” And try to build friendship or a relationship on those and try to let the areas we may disagree on fall to the way-side… 🙂

    • jwfisch says:

      The “load” I was referring to in that lyric is the load of sin. “We don’t sin alone/we must all bear the same load” meaning we all share in Adam’s sin. Having said that, I don’t think it’s a good idea to weigh or compare suffering except to bear each other’s burdens when they get too big for one to carry.

  2. Carole in Midland says:

    Common ground, John! Funny how our differences seem to become less important when we take the time to find it instead of pushing our own agenda. It’s not about “getting them to join our side” – it’s about all of us meeting Christ and being BY His side. I’m pretty sure NONE of us have it all down pat, anyway. Can you imagine our first Bible Study at the feet of Christ when we get to Heaven? All the little light bulbs going off as we smack ourselves in the head and exclaim, “Oh, I see it NOW!”

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