Many people have asked me in the past few weeks, “What do you do on your mission trips, Kevin?” Most of the time I respond by saying that I teach, but I could also say that I ask a lot of questions and do a lot of listening as well. I try to understand, in the short period of time that I usually have, what is the current situation in respect to the Lord’s church and the consequences of our efforts. This inevitably leads to other discussions about the Lord’s church in other places besides the one’s where we are directly involved.
It was during such a conversation that brother Moises told me that we would have to take a vacation together sometime and visit all of the places in Costa Rica where the church is located and see all the various tourist attractions that are in each place respectively. I responded that I would definitely love to do that sometime, but that it would cost quite a bit of money. He replied that we could take the bus and it would be very cheap and that it wouldn’t cost much at all. We argued about it briefly and then I realized he wasn’t taking into account where I lived. So I asked him, “Moises, where do I live?” A puzzled expression came over his face and suddenly he realized that in order for me and my family to travel it is very expensive. He explained that he was thinking that I was just another Tico living in Costa Rica.
While this was slightly embarrassing for him, I took it as a great compliment on our relationship. I have known brother Moises since my first trip to Costa Rica in 2002. But in actual time, I have only spent about a month with him and his family over the course of those years. Yet, those have been some of the most cherished moments of my life. This is because of the great bond that we have in Christ. Galatians 3:28 states, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Because we are Christians there are no geopolitical boundaries between us; there are no racial barriers; there are no cultural obstacles. Why? We have the bond of brotherhood in Christ, a bond that is stronger than any other. In that moment when we were talking, my identity was his identity and that made us one.
David wrote, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). Indeed, how pleasant and good it is to know someone so deeply, to have the same concerns, triumphs, struggles, and sorrows, to share in the great work that our Lord has given us to do in His name, and to rejoice together in the beautiful consequences that flow from a life of service to Him. The Christian knows such a relationship because he knows Christ and longs to see Christ living in those around him and rejoices when he so finds a soul eager to share in that state. Brotherhood is truly a beautiful thing.