"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us."
This is interesting to me. We were talking in my ward today about spreading the gospel, and the last guy to speak got up and was really really choked up about the whole thing. Missionary work is important, I do know that... but we hear it all the time, so why was this guy crying? The question intrigued me, so I guess I listened pretty closely this time. :) And what I hear struck me on a few different levels. First of all, this man was a "convert" ... joined the church when he was 25. And secondly, what he said towards the end of his talk was, "do you dislike anyone enough not to want them to have the gospel?" Wow... that really got to me. The way this man sees missionary work, and the way that this scripture is talking about it seem to me to be the same thing... that the impetus behind missionary work is none other than that desire for the "Zion community" that I rave about all the time. This man didn't want to think about a life without the gospel... what if no-one had invited him to listen...? That was a hard thing for him, that he could have gone without knowing such amazing and important things... and, he wouldn't have known the community that he has found in the church. And, this is how the scripture above talks about the church soon after Christ's death... that Christ's sacrifice brings us together... removing those annoying partitions that we so often have between us in our communications... in our lives. That the gospel can bring us close even though we are far away. We've talked a bunch of times about the boundaries of time, and how that limitation will be gone someday (some eternity?) ... but here we are talking about overcoming the boundaries of space as well... :) it's almost like a twilight zone episode, except it's real. :) Our perfect community isn't bound by geographical constraints... or by language, or by any impairments... our community is the gospel, and it belongs to everyone, everywhere... everytime, everyspace. :) When we share the gospel with someone, it isn't about brainwashing them, or getting statistics for our global domination plan... it is about inviting them into a community... it isn't about making another notch in your Book of Mormon or patting yourself on the back. it is about loving someone enough to want to hang out with them in our eternities... :) Lehi's dream comes to mind... Lehi dreamt about a tree, and a path and a rod that led to that tree. When he tasted the fruit of that tree, which was the best thing that he had EVER tasted, and better than anything he had ever heard of... he immediately looked around for his family, so that he could call them over as well. He wanted them to be as happy as he had been.
And you know... sadly, a lot of times we *don't* love people enough to want to offer them all the cool stuff we have... but we're working on it. :) That is another thing we are working on in sinner's anonymous... love. learning to love people more and better... and as we do, we'll want them more and more to have the hope that we have access to... to have the happiness and light that we have found. And we'll build that community... that Zion. Where we are all friends, and enjoy hanging out together. Doing the things that we love and are good at. Let's work on building it today. :)