Glocal Series: Holy Land Day 2 “Seeing and Being”

Sath Arulvarathan   -  

“People come to see the dead stones but not the living stones.”

This, a popular adage among Holy Land Christians, describes the interactions that the western world, and more specifically the Christians from this world, have had with them.

Seeing the dead stones…

Mike, Missy and myself spent today touring the Land with members of a church with whom Trinity Life has a partnership, following in the footsteps of Jesus. Disembarking from the town of Bethlehem, we went to Nazareth and parts of Galilee, all of which had ornate and well-maintained structures that commemorated significant places in the life of Jesus, and also served to attract crowds of people from all over the world to these places.

Poignantly all these ornate structures were surrounded by people experiencing hardship. This is a visible manifestation of the reality that in the Land, many Christians in the western world, prioritize dead stones over those who are living stones in Christ ( 1 Peter 2:4 ).

Seeing the living stones…
Does Jesus care more about the living stones than the dead stones?

I believe so, because in the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one but this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” In this context Jesus is talking about how Christians should love other Christians (although elsewhere within the Bible there’s also a command to love people who aren’t Christians). Why does this matter? Because Jesus said, “By this, everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” But what we saw today were Christians seeing the dead stones while being blind toward the living stones.

Being the living stones…
So what does this mean for our church?

These next several days we are praying that God may help us see the living stones and more specifically, that Trinity Life Church may love the church in the Holy Land in a way that’s leads people to glorify Jesus.

The amazing news is that Jesus, who epitomizes the kind of sacrificial love for us when he allows himself to be crucified for our sins, lives in us and empowers us to love sacrificially. So let us continue to draw near to and worship Jesus by being living stones that point to Him!