Mixing It Up

It can seem strange to question and particularly the unity of disparate people, but that is what is happening here. Jew and Gentile united in a gle . The Jew and Gentile outside that assaulted it.

Unity is a great thing. The is supposed to be a place of unity. Yet, the also remains the most divided. It is divided by culture, nation, skin color, money, location and many other reasons.

Yet, the “obvious” division isn’t all bad. Really. If we didn’t have divisions, well, there would be one pastor…one…for everyone. Already, we know that wouldn’t work.

Some sociologists state that our effective relational capacity is approximately 100. This “tribal” view of humanity would certainly explain much of what each of us experience in . It also explains the .

In many regards, the divisions that we see in the world are not that surprig. As the ability to connect the whole world in real-time expands and becomes embedded in our lives, we are all experiencing the stress of a “tribal” size beyond our capacity to deal with and understand.

This does not spare us the responsibility to and understand. The “tribal” concept may be about to be turned upside down.

The of Iconium, for example, broke the “tribal” boundaries. The tribal-breaking remains the world’s greatest . It is this that makes the divided so painful.

The world needs an enemy. Tribes need enemies. The enemies may not be ones of warfare. They may be economic or cultural or something else.

The is ed to cross enemy lines not to defeat the enemy, but to reconcile the enemy, so that there are no more enemies.


  • Which “tribal” identities do you identify with?
  • Which “tribal” identities do you struggle most with?
  • How do you think the early overcame “tribal” identities?


Lord, grant us the wisdom and grace to follow the example of your servant Paul along with the first es, that we can truly be the es to the world of your great love. Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.