Freedom: When Religion Becomes Unreasonable – Oneness
I read an article on the feelings of current and former employees of Apple retail stores. The feedback from numerous people interviewed by the writer reveals an overwhelming degree of love and satisfaction. Perhaps this is one factor why Apple Stores continue to thrive while most brick and mortar outlets selling electronic have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Much of the satisfaction of working in an Apple Store was the universal attitude held by staff that what they were doing was not selling electronics but making a positive difference in the lives of their customers. This attitude is promoted by Apple ownership, administration, management and reinforced through training and peer relationships. One staff member remarked he was supported at work by not just one or two people but by 20. What is remarkable is the degree of unity around purpose and product at an Apple Store. Their environment speaks of oneness, not a place simply to punch a time card. Such success; such oneness; does not come by accident. It is intentional.
Continuing in the Freedom series, Pastor Ed, unpacked a key event in the travels of the Apostle Paul. Not only was this key for Paul, it was fundamental for the unfolding and spreading of the Gospel throughout the world. As Ed relates, Paul made a journey of substantial proportions to meet and confer with the Apostles in Jerusalem. It was intentional, purposeful, and vital. It was for the sake of unity of the new church. The outcome of this momentous conclave was oneness in the message of Jesus Christ – The Gospel. Jesus Christ opens the gate for restored relationship with God, bridges the chasm that exists, and makes the necessary full atonement. It is not Jesus Christ plus Old Covenant rules, rituals, sacrifices or racial exclusivity. This is worth being unified; this is essential oneness.
We continue in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and the Jerusalem Apostles. Jesus Christ and in Christ alone is our salvation. As recipients of such unfathomable grace and mercy we are compelled to pay it forward to our new generations. At GateWay we have been guided this way by Pastor Ed. This weekend he encouraged us to get on the same page. Ed delivered a message with a simple process to achieve such unity. We have a story of priceless value and importance. Let us be unified, GateWay. Let us not be individual workers but a team supporting one another with a unified message. Let us be intentional in making a difference because the One makes a difference in us. Apple sure embraced the unity message. Paul and the early Christians absolutely embraced unity and in oneness they turned the world of that time upside down. We can do the same, GateWay. In unity we can turn Visalia upside down with the greatest story ever told.