Brothers and sisters in Christ

September 20, 2017 at 6:00 AM

Julian-Piste.jpg
Dr. Julian Piste was a former Luke Society director in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico where Dr. Jim Spindler served on a PMT  (File photo).

(Editor's note: Dr. Jim Spindler of Hastings, MI, is the secretary of the Luke Society Board of Directors and is a former PMT member to Kenya and Mexico.) 

Brothers and sisters in Christ

By Dr. Jim Spindler

Over the years, I have often referred to our ministry directors and staffs as “our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

I have also found that when I meet them at Luke Society regional meetings or on previous Partnership Ministry Team meetings, I sense a kinship bond that can only exist because of our common faith in God, our Creator and Redeemer.

This has been particularly true when serving as a PMT for former director Dr. Julian Piste in the Yucatan of Mexico and Dr. Tom and Mercy Olewe in Nairobi, Kenya. I have the same feeling serving as a board member for the Luke Society.

I remember walking to church in Xocnepich, a small village in the Yucatan. Dr. Julian Piste was the director of the Luke Society ministry to remote Mayan villages where he provided health care and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Julian softly whispered to me as we approached the church that I was preaching.

I only had a few minutes to come up with a Biblical reference and sermon theme. Terror ran down my spine. As my fingers quickly explored the New Testament, I thought of Ephesians 4. Verses 3-6 say; “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

I thought of all the things that separate us: Distance – often thousands of miles, language, status, customs and culture. Yet, we are one in the Spirit. We are truly brothers and sisters in Christ. We are members of God’s family.

This was the message I preached that morning. If you turn to Galatians 5, you will see that we are challenged to live by the Spirit not by the flesh. We must all first be living by the Spirit. If we are, then we can truly be called, “brothers and sisters in Christ.”

During my sermon, I noticed the North Americans were all sitting on one side of the middle aisle of the church and those from the Yucatan were sitting on the other. I decided to stop speaking and asked if we could all to stand and greet one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. I encouraged the congregation to mingle. It was like “passing the peace” we often do in our church services back home except this went on for several minutes. There were smiles everywhere and laughter filled the church.

If we all love Jesus with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind, we are truly brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

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