I am sitting in my office enjoying choral music. Since getting to church this morning, I have heard at least four different languages singing praises to the same God. Each song that is sung in its original form crosses cultural boundaries to exalt the Creator. The beauty comes from a place that matches profound love that is easily understood no matter which language, dialect, or style. Truth abounds across political boundaries.
As Christians, we sometimes are guilty of “othering” voices that don’t quite sound like ours. We blind our hearts to those who worship differently than we do. “Why can’t they sing this song the way our church does?” “That’s not Biblical.” We stand on our moral high horses as if God requires us to defend how He chooses to reveal Himself to humanity. Our gratitude is replaced with a self-righteousness that is anything but gracious, kind, or slightly understanding.
Today in Jerusalem, I am reminded that my voice is not the only voice that lifts praises to God. There is beauty in all of the expressions of divine love that reach out to the One, who continues to work great wonders in His creation. My heart must be open to hear the splendor of someone else’s joy. Their pronouncements will infuse my spirit to live bigger, reach higher, love bolder. I simply need to listen.
Our task is great as we continue forward to the cross, but we must not forget that others are on the journey. We must not lose sight of the fact that we all come searching for hope, for only in our willingness to acknowledge each other’s words can we be the community of God. We must remember that before we become members of our local churches, we take vows to be the universal church. The global church of God, where denominational boundaries are not included. Praise be to our God, who gives us the victory in His Son.