(Thanks to our dear friend, Bubba Anderson for the inspiration for this one.)
Being given a starlight mint and a hug is the signature greeting from our friend Bubba.
He always seems to have a supply of mints in his pocket and never fails to give one when we are either arriving or departing. He is so faithful at this example of generosity, we have come to call the red and white striped treats, "Bubba mints."
The other day he must have had an extra large supply because instead of one "Bubba mint," he handed me five. I put them away in my coat pocket and didn't think about them again until the next day. When leaving the house, I pulled my hand out of my pocket and one of the "Bubba mints" fell to the concrete and broke into several pieces. Since the mint was still contained in its cellophane package, I noticed I could easily push the pieces back into place, making one singular mint again.
Immediately I thought of the collection of believers the Bible refers to as "the Body of Christ." ("Now ye are the Body of Christ and members in particular," 1 Corinthians 12:27.)
Often times, we may notice many different beliefs between Christians, often beliefs which are opposed to each other. Some Christians find themselves at the point they have trouble having fellowship with vsomeone else with varying and disagreeing beliefs. Some have chosen to take disagreement to the point of being disagreeable.
When the Apostle Paul spoke of believers as "the Body of Christ" he was speaking to the church at Corinth who had the exact same problem. "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" 1 Corinthians 3:4) He went on to explain that their divisions and striving was a mark of their carnality, describing them as "babes" in Christ.
My Bubba mint was divided into many pieces, but because it was still sealed in its package, I could put it back into perfect unity. As Christians, we may seem divided, but we are each sealed by the Holy Spirit. ("In whom ye also , after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were with that holy Spirit of promise," Ephesians 1:13.)
Regardless of how it appears presently, the truth of the Scriptures is that Christians are sealed in perfect unity of spirit with each other and our Lord. ("For in Him we , and move and have our being,"Acts 17:28.) The time will come when that unity of purpose, heart and spirit will be revealed to all. While we are not called to relinquish our convictions, we are called to maintain the attitude of grace, mercy and kindness which reflects the Spirit which lives in us and in whom we live.
Ephesians 4: 1-6
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."