Editorial

Rhyming People

By

The African bishop stood in the carved walnut pulpit, his back to the robed choir and his face toward the American congregation struggling to understand his accented English. He wanted to make a point about the newfound unity among the apostles after the Resurrection but couldn’t quite find the words. “So you see,” he finally said triumphantly, “they are rhyming!”

What may seem like a mistake in translating Swahili to English was actually an insightful summation of the Christian walk. Though unity may imply homogeneity to some, it does not mean that everyone must be the same in order to get along or have similar goals. For words—or people—to rhyme, they must be different, yet have the same sound, one common syllable that resonates between them.

Do we rhyme? Though we may look different from one another, disagree on politics and church polity, come from different cultures and speak different languages, do we have a common syllable? Our acceptance of Christ as our Savior makes us a family—brothers and sisters who have “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all” (Eph. 4:10). Through our personal harmony or even disagreements that arise among family members, the gospel of salvation—our experience of it and our desire for others to hear of it—is what resonates.

Several years ago, denominational leaders identified seven Core Values to help the Alliance family grow deeper in relationship to God and each other. These values build on the C&MA’s confession of Jesus as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King, helping members of Alliance churches become people who “rhyme” as they work side by side in the Kingdom.

The second C&MA|DNA series* is a multimedia presentation of all seven Alliance Core Values, offering testimonies in addition to guided studies for each. This issue of Alliance Life offers insight into the values, through the inspiring example of a church that refused to give up (p. 22), an in-depth retelling of a well-known Bible story (p. 18) and personal examination led by the Holy Spirit (pp. 10, 16 and 24).

“Live in harmony with one another,” Paul wrote to the Romans, an appeal that is echoed by his fellow apostle Peter (1 Peter 3:8). It doesn’t mean we’re the same, only that we rhyme.

*For more about C&MA|DNA, visit www.cma-dna.com

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