I live in Georgia, halfway between the city of Macon to my south and the city of Atlanta to the north. While they both have their share of crime and crooked politicians, the two cities couldn’t be more different. Nowhere is that more evident than in the traffic reports I hear on the radio.
The traffic reporters in Atlanta have names like Captain Herb and fly over the city in a helicopter.
The traffic reporters in Macon have names like Josh or Lisa and sound like they just got out of high school. In fact, I think that they’re still in high school. They give the reports on their way to 1st period American History. Kids today.
Atlanta traffic has a way of making you think that the world is about to come to an end. Earlier this week a truck full of potatoes got into a wreck and turned the interstate into Idaho. That same day a man fell off of a different truck. Oh, and there’s always a ladder in the middle of one of the interstates. Always.
In Macon, it’s all smiles. The reporters always say the same thing. “No incidents to report on 16. Smooth sailing on 75.” I’m thinking about throwing a ladder in the middle of the road down there, just to give the Macon traffic reporters something to talk about.
Atlanta is only a couple of hours north of the much smaller city of Macon. But, like I said, in reality the two cities are worlds apart. And most of the people who live in each city aren’t killing themselves trying to get to the other city.
My grandfather lived a few miles south of Macon. He said that anyone who lives north of Macon was a yankee. I heard another guy describe Interstate 285, the massive expressway that loops around Atlanta, as the “seventh circle of Hades.”
People who live inside the city of Atlanta think that those of us who live beyond Interstate 285 eat spaghetti with our hands and play the banjo. But that’s not true. Some of us prefer the washboard as our instrument of choice.
Georgia is made up of a variety of people. Sadly, most of those varieties don’t much care for the other varieties.
Same corner of the world. Same state. Completely different cities. Completely different people.
The same is true of every state.
But it should not be true of the Church.
Last week, I got to baptize people from all different walks of life. Some were grandparents and some were barely old enough to go to school. But they each walked in to the water with at least one thing in common. They were sinners who were transformed into saints by the blood of Jesus Christ.
This Sunday, I will get to lead my church in the Lord’s Supper. Some who will drink from the cup have grown up in the church and began following Christ at a very early age. Others rebelled for many years before finally submitting to Jesus. No matter their differences, each participant will come together to remember the cross and to celebrate Jesus’ power to forgive sins.
Different sinners. Different sins. One Savior. One body.
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
1 Corinthians 10:17 (ESV)