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Unlikely Allies

Daily Reading: Zechariah 5-6

Scripture Focus: And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the Lord. (Zechariah 6.15)

Devotional Thought: This month, Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg made the news by asking for more government regulations. It's unusual that a company would want more government interference in their business, so there were questions about Zuckerburg's motives. Many doubters cited examples of Facebook shutting down certain viewpoints. What kind of government intervention was Facebook looking for?

In today's "cancel culture", we find it increasingly difficult to find people who are willing to work with those who are not in lock-step with them on every issue. This in turn has led to toxic divisiveness and pervasive suspicion that prevent compromise and working together - whether in politics, or in business, or even in church. And that results in paralysis.

Jesus encountered this attitude:

"Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you" (Luke 9.49-50).

Certainly, there are differences that might prevent us from working together. But, every difference? Cannot we in the church find common ground with others - both within and outside the church - that would enable us to work together?

Zechariah certainly expressed hope for that very thing when he said, "Those who are far off shall come and help build the temple of the Lord." Whether "those who are far off" were foreigners or Israelites, there was obviously a difference of opinions and values. Zechariah thought that those differences could be overcome.

How about you? Have you drawn artificial boundaries around people with whom you disagree? I encourage you to look for unlikely allies. Zechariah did, and so did Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, too often I shut out those who are different from me. Help me, instead, to see them with your eyes, love them with your heart, and join them in your work. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words. 162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. 164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules. 165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. 166 I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments. 167 My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly. 168 I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you. (Psalms 119:161-168)

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