Our Lord especially prayed, that all believers might be as one body under one head, animated by one soul, by their union with Christ and the Father in him, through the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The more they dispute about lesser things, the more they throw doubts upon Christianity. Let us endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, praying that all believers may be more and more united in one mind and one judgment. Thus shall we convince the world of the truth and excellence of our religion, and find more sweet communion with God and his saints.
playing sports on Sunday
denomination of your church
going to church at all
wearing certain clothes
listening to certain music
medication for mental health issues
women working outside the home
what we spend our money on
judging people based on how active they are in the local church (you don’t “do” enough)
and so on
I will write about unity now and then because I love Jesus and I do attend church….I have been a church member since I was a teenager, as a Baptist and now as more of a grace/baptist/reformed/new covenant congregant.
I have some active experience in legalism…not any longer…but yes for years I was part of a legalistic church and I’m thankful for that because now I am very likely able to spot that kind of abusive behavior at the drop of a hat.
Do not lay burdens on my brothers and sisters is the attitude I find washing over me.
DO NOT DO IT!
Instead of laying a burden on someone about their child playing a sport on Sundays why don’t you GO TO A GAME AND CHEER???????? Or deliver donuts to them before going to church? After football season is over they will be back to sitting with you in the pews! They love God’s people, they love the preached word, but they have choices to make…they are parents, they are members of a community. And they may not make the same choice as you….but you are still commanded to love them in an active way even if you do not agree.
I in them and You in Me–that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me. ~Jesus’ prayer to God
I’ve been reading and listening to Greg Boyle and his message is so right….that our “ministry”, our “service” does not end at that…it keeps going beyond service and ends at KINSHIP. It ends in KNOWING THAT WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER. I belong to my kids’ schools, I belong to my church, I belong to the people of my community, I belong to you, I belong to my country. I will do my very very small parts in creating that kinship.
(I am in introvert so I am not very “active” but I do support things as much as I can….in the church, schools, and community. My role is basically taking care of my family as THEY do what they love to do…which is be active. I smile a lot, too.)
I can cook all the dinners, wash all the faces, but if my heart does not melt as the little boy tucks himself into me as he reads his homework to me, than it is all for nothing.
I can take my boys to practice, go to all the games, but if my heart doesn’t melt at the sight of the coach stopping everything to bend down and wipe tears from my little son’s face and make sure he’s okay because he just took a football to the EYE….than I am nothing.
I can go to church and read my Bible, but if my heart does not melt at the man who is working his butt off to support his family during all the hours of the night so that he has to miss church to sleep, I AM NOTHING.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.… ~ the Bible
WHAT? I have the faith but *not the love* and I am nothing????
So let’s be radical! Let’s support each other! but more than that….let’s BELONG TO EACH OTHER. Let’s go further up and further in!
Because that is what love is.
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Mother Teresa
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Amen! “But the greatest of these is LOVE”
You nailed it Shanda! Well written!
First 2 Scriptures that popped to mine after reading your post…
Unity in the Body of Christ
4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
We will all express these things in various ways in our lives…. may we love one another and stir each other to good works whatever context that may be. 😃