Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at Chinese Gospel Church in downtown Toronto. It’s a church right in the heart of the city in the area known (not so creatively) as Chinatown (if you ever go there you will quickly find out why it has this name). I told the people there that, when I was growing up in the suburbs, we used to go on class trips to Chinatown as a kind of foreign cultural experience. We’d go to the markets down there to look at strange fruits and vegetables and to buy chicken feet and other delicacies that we’d soon throw at each other. Good times.
I was speaking last night to a college and careers kind of group–people ranging from their late teens into their thirties (and maybe a bit beyond). It won’t surprise you to learn that I spoke on spiritual discernment and maturity. The evening began with a time of singing and then transitioned into prayer in small groups of four or five people. As we prayed I was struck immediately by what a privilege it is to be members of the body of Christ. Here I was sitting with people I had never met before, but here I was bound together with them in prayer. I was filled with gratitude that God has seen fit to build his Body through people in diverse places and from diverse backgrounds. It’s not that these people were so different from me–many of them were second or third generation Canadians–but more that they were at once strangers and family.
Who but God could conceive of something so incredible, so unique? Who but God could build a family of brothers and sisters that spans cities and countries and continents? Who but God? Last night I prayed with friends, family and strangers and experienced the communion of the saints in a new and powerful way.