One Shoulder

on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Zephaniah 3:9
For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.

As I researched the wording on this verse, I was struck by the imagery. The term "shoulder to shoulder" is translated in the ESV/RSV renditions as “One accord”. However, in the Young’s Literal Translation and also in the footnote in the NASB it is translated as “One shoulder”.

If we are to serve as "one shoulder", we are to be like Siamese twins. We are eternally connected through Christ. To cut off one another is to cut off our own arm; it is to do harm to ourselves. Unity is not only important, it is vital for health, vibrancy, and strength.

If believers are called to be “One Shoulder”, what does that mean to our community? First of all we are to be a comfort to the community. We have all heard the phrase "a should to cry on". By serving together, we provide a place where the hurting are comforted. Second, we are to be a place of security or safety. Picture a mother holding a frightened child. She holds the child close so he knows he is not alone. We are to be a safe place for the world. In this world people are used and abused. The church is to be a secure place in an unsure world. Lastly, unified believers ("one shoulder") are a celebratory group. We are on the winning team. When a team wins the game, the star player or the coach is hoisted upon the shoulders of the winners. We are to lift up Christ and celebrate His victory on the cross and invite others into the eternal celebration.

Ponder your life. Is your church "one shoulder"? Or is there gossip, dissensions, fighting, slander, disunity, etc.? What about you? Are you uniting and building up the "shoulder" or are you causing a painful split causing harm not only to others but also yourself? If we want to see our communities transformed, we must be "one shoulder" serving together!


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