Now may the God of patient endurance and of encouragement grant you ⌊to be in agreement⌋with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that with one mind you may glorify with one mouth the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore accept one another, just as Christ also has accepted you, to the glory of God. Romans 15:5-7 Lexham English Bible
Unity. Sometimes we witness it as we watch a dancers perform or in those blissful sports moments when the whole team is working together like one. It is amazingly beautiful whether a dance troupe nails it or a basketball team runs the perfect fast break. I love to see people come together.
It is the same in churches. There are rare and beautiful moments when people from all walks of life, races, ages, and even musical preferences join together in worshipping God. It brings tears to my eyes. I am humbled that God’s Spirit that lives in us could bring us together.
Yet even in churches it is rare. We divide ourselves up into age groups even as adults. We go to churches based on where we feel comfortable rather than whether God’s Spirit is present. We think we are unified because we don’t talk to folks outside our little circles. Then the reality comes to bear. The truth that we are deeply divided. Splintered. Fractured.
We are one body. All the gospel sharing churches in this nation are one because of Christ. We don’t see that in the way we bicker between churches. And should you be in a diverse church unity inside the church is a battle.
So I pray for unity of believers – inside churches and between churches.
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus! So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Romans 15:3-7 The Message
Have you ever experience unity? What contributed to that unity? What distracted from that unity?