How good and pleasant it is to live together.

Kirkland is city set on a hill that sprawls down to the eastern shore of Lake Washington. We look west across the lake and see the outline and lights of Seattle. At any given moment you can walk around one of the several neighborhoods that make up Kirkland and meet people from all over the world. In recent years it has become common place to hear several languages spoken in parks, restaurants and stores. The world has come to Kirkland. All this reads idyllic; however, division and fear accompany the growing pains of any community and Kirkland is no exception.

The church is people. This sounds so simple on the surface; however, whenever you bring more than one person together in a group - there is the possibility for conflict and division. As Christians at Lakeside, we acknowledge the brokenness of our humanity as well as our calling to be ambassadors for the Kingdom of God in a foreign world. We want to face squarely the issues of life, knowing its messy and work toward resolution, restoration and reconciliation. Those are all big and fancy words we can carelessly throw around in church. At Lakeside we believe we’re responsible to pursue life with Jesus together; this means figuring out life together.

In Lakeside we welcome people from all corners of the world, all colors, nationalities and cultures. We see this as the natural order of things in a worldwide family of God. The Psalmist wrote, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”

This past Sunday we got to enjoy the Psalmist’s declaration by worshipping together with Eikou Christian Church (Japanese Fellowship) and Iglesia Bautista (Spanish speaking fellowship). Pastor Jonathan Kobayashi shared from 1 Corinthians 11 regarding unity in Christ while Pastor Omar Farrell concluded with an admonition to keep Christ central in our relationships remembering all He has done for us. Pastor Kobayashi shared the bread of communion with us while Pastor Farrell shared the juice of communion. We’re blessed with wonderful facilities at Lakeside. As good stewards of these facilities we share them with Eikou and Iglesia Bautista realizing we’re all working for the same King and advancing His Kingdom agenda (not our own).

The unity we enjoy is not based upon a common language, skin color, financial standing or culture - it is solely based upon the person of Jesus Christ. Our relationship with Christ transcends all that might divide us to make us into the family of God. With our foundation set upon Jesus Christ, we work out life together with grace, compassion and love.

It is our hope that we live what we preach and can be a light to the community of Kirkland as well as the world. The world around us is on fire with fear, division, hatred and strife. We believe we must show there is a different way to live; a way driven by love and selflessness. We realize we’re not prefect at doing this; but we are committed to do our best and always improve. We’re not doing this alone. Church families around the world that actively and consciously live with Christ at their center are doing the same.

Our wake up call this week was to the unity God has given us. May we never take unity in Christ for granted. Let us go forward from here with the reminder, we are one in Christ - one family of God.

Vince Armfield