May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6
United in the image and likeness of God + the blood of Christ but divided by nearly everything else. Different races, cultures, languages, worship styles, political views, socioeconomic status, personalities, tastes, styles, food choices, customs, and practices. Add to that differences in personal preferences and convictions. So much division. So many areas for judgment and gossip and ridicule and distancing. The tension is inevitable when we forget the power of that which binds us together.
Our attacks on one another within the church must crush Jesus as He looks on. I think he sees all the untapped potential unity would bring and He cries out for us to remember His teaching.
How can the Church, with all of our deep differences, remain united and be the powerful force in our world for change and wholeness and peace and restoration and love? Jesus. Only Jesus. What Jesus did for us and who He is to us has to be bigger than anything that divides us. And it is. But do we live like it?
What if we were more pro-Jesus than anti-each other? What if we joined together to point to Jesus instead of pointing out each others’ flaws? What if we loved Jesus more than we loved harsh pithy words? What if we read God’s Word more than trending social media posts?
Talk is easy, but unity is not. It has never been. It’s the devil’s wedge. Our differences are real; our pain is real; we are passionate sinful people; we are committed to our causes and convictions. The devil even uses talk of unity to divide us. The only thing that can unify us is Jesus. With all of our diversity in thought, culture, and backgrounds, there is no other thread that can unite us. Only the blood of Jesus.
Questions: What damage have you seen lack of unity cause in the church? What can you do to encourage unity among Christians?