When You’re Not in the Same Jersey
Recently, I asked one of my pre-k classes, “How can you tell who is on which team at a football game?” They answered right away, “They’re all wearing the same jersey!”
As Christians, we know that Jesus told us in John 13:35, ESV, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” That’s how other people will be able to see that we are one from the outside — by our love.
But what is it that brings us together as a group? Are we a team because we all come to the same building on Sunday mornings? Do we opt in for a membership fee? Are we kicked out when we don’t keep up our dues?
On the first Pentecost after Jesus ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit rushed in like a mighty wind, appearing as flames of fire above them, filling Jesus’ disciples and followers in the Upper Room. Suddenly, they were all talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in languages they had never known. Many visitors to Jerusalem who had traveled there for the feast day heard this and believed and were baptized after hearing the Gospel. How many? Five? 10? “A trillion!” was one 4-year-old’s guess!
Okay, it wasn’t a trillion, but it was 3,000 people from far and wide, who decided to trust and follow Jesus that day alone and they were baptized that day.
Acts 2:44, ESV tells us that “… all who believed were together and had all things in common.” So, what did they have “in common?”
They were so filled with love and care for one another — the love of God living in them now — that whatever goods they had, they freely shared them with all the other believers. The gift of salvation in Christ, evident by the presence of the Holy Spirit, was so rich and fulfilling that they couldn’t help but live out and imitate the generosity that God had shown them.
Many call the Feast of Pentecost, which we celebrate 50 days after Easter, the birthday of the Church because the Church is not just our building, but represents all believers across the world with so many differences throughout history.
This is what made them one, what makes us one and knits us together! The family of God, the Church across time and space doesn’t wear the same jersey. Rather, we are united inside and out by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 
A Prayer
Dear Lord, so fill us with your Holy Spirit that we would be renewed and transformed by the knowledge of the surpassing beauty of your Gospel and by the power of your love. That we would see and love others generously, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ, with the eyes of the Father’s great love for us, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
The Rev. Naomi B. Sundara
Chaplain to the Preschool
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