Do you possess something that you hold very dear? Perhaps it’s an heirloom you were given by a now-deceased family member. Maybe it’s your new car that you meticulously clean on a weekly basis. It could be a handmade gift from a friend. Or maybe it’s a business that you built from the ground up. You get the idea. We all have a few precious possessions in our life.
How do you treat such items? Do you put them into the hands of toddlers or leave them in vulnerable locations? I’m sure you don’t. You care for them, tend to them, and maintain them. You protect them at all costs.
In our A Chapter A Day readings, we are making the journey through I Corinthians. One of the Corinthian church’s most significant struggles was keeping on the path of unity. Listen to Paul’s exhortation in the first few words of this epistle and note the words and phrases I have underscored, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.” (I Corinthians 1:10-11, ESV)
The church of Jesus loses its effectiveness and weakens its witness when it suffers from division, infighting, and silly disputes largely based on preference. In these moments, biblical theology often takes a backseat to personal agendas.
But the opposite is also true. The Bride of Christ is a force to be reckoned with when there is harmony, alignment with Jesus’ mission for us (the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20), and personal deference toward one another. Jesus prayed for this very thing in John 17:21 when he said, “that they may all be one…so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
If Jesus prayed for it, then we should prize it. And if we are responsible for it, then we should also protect it.
In a culture of never-ending factions and in a church undergoing a pastoral transition, will you recommit with me to prize and protect our unity? If you will, I know our witness will be strengthened, and God will be greatly glorified!
In the Spirit,