So, last night there was a major game going on… that lasted

all.

night.

long.

For both Cubs and Indian fans, it was a nail-biter indeed, going into an extra inning and to top it off, there was a 30 minute rain delay in between the ninth and tenth inning. Watching all of the fans at the change of each inning proves to be great entertainment. It’s always fun to check out what everyone is eating, wearing, and sometimes- cursing. Although we were pulling for a Cubs victory at my house, one of my favorite shirts that you saw Cleveland fans wearing was a Nike Shirt that simply said “TRIBE”.

I love that shirt, because of the simplicity of the message. Just like fans of any team, or any sport, everyone is united under one simple principle: we’re on the same team. We’re pulling for the same people. We want our team to be victorious, to come out on top, to be known as the best.

Merriam-Webster defines tribe as ‘a social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations together with slaves, dependents, or adopted strangers’.

I love that.

I love the concept of a tribe. It feels exclusive, like you are a part of something bigger, yet it is the exact opposite – it is inclusive. The best part is the last part – adopted strangers.

I guarantee you that last night after Kris Bryant made the final out for the Cubs at the bottom of the 10th inning, it didn’t matter whether you were black, white, orange, Republican, Democrat, 88 or 8 years old… if you were a Cubs fan, you were an ‘adopted stranger’; you were a part of something bigger – all united and celebrating for the same reason: a victory.

In society today, especially when it’s election time, it seems that you can easily see different tribes and what their people stand for. You’ve got pet people, who spend their lives fighting for animals and their rights. You’ve got ‘kid’ people, who spend countless hours working to better the lives of children in poverty, or those who’ve been abused or neglected. You’ve got folks who devote their lives and money towards making the world and environment a better place for generations to come. There’s politics people who feel that their time and energy is best spent in government roles, and passing bills to make a difference. There are gun people, fighting for the right to bear arms as a constitutional right. You’ve got education people, who feel that education should be the biggest priority in someone’s life, and for that, they are willing to sacrifice time and energy. See, the world is made up of all kinds of tribes, groups, and supporters. Each person has a valid reason as to why they believe in what they believe, or why they want to support what they support.

I think it’s awesome.

It’s great for people to be passionate about their beliefs, to wildly pursue the things that make a difference to THEIR world, whatever that looks like to them. Their tribe.

Even though there are many labels I could give myself, or any number of tribe categories that I could put myself in, there is only one that I seek to belong to above all: The Jesus Tribe.

As Christians, I think we often forget that although we may feel segmented and divided when it comes to political stands, social classes, denominations, gender, sexual orientation, or geographical location; there is one common thread that binds us together.

The crimson blood stain on the cross.

Our savior knew that we would one day be arguing over country borders and classified emails, over whose lives matter, over whether the dress is white and gold or black and blue. He knew there would be division for thousands of years among His people, and yet there He hung. For you. For me. For Hillary Clinton, for Donald Trump, for all of us.

For His people, His tribe.

Today, I challenge you to be reminded of what tribe you belong to.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ All of the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!’ Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes- who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” – Revelation 7:9-17

I don’t know about you, but I want to be in a white robe, holding palm branches, praising the Lamb. I want to be before the throne of God, serving him day and night.
That, my friends, is my tribe.

I hope it is yours too.

Anna Smith is the Director of Community Relations at LICS, and joined our family in January of 2014. Anna lives in West Columbia and in her free time, she enjoys being outside with her 2 labs, traveling, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family. Her favorite parts of working at LICS? The ability to pray and talk with clients, and connecting individuals in need with resources.

 

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