We visited with friends this past week. The conversations were sweet, and they ran deep. Our ongoing conversation was about unity in the faith. Not uniformity, not conformity, but being one first with Christ, our Savior, and then one with each other.
I’ve written about unity and community a few times. Here are links to those posts:
- The Lens of Community (a summary of James 1-5)
- Living in Community
- Romans 14:1-15:13: Diversity in Convictions, Unity in the Church
- His Glory, Our Unity
Poetry by Madeleine L’Engle built around this phrase from scripture — “in him, all things hold together” — the essence of our being and the only hope for unity — comes to mind —
Hold me against the dark: I am afraid.~ Madeleine L’Engle
Circle me with your arms. I am made
So tiny and my atoms so unstable
That at any moment I may explode. I am unable
To contain myself in unity. My outlines shiver
With the shock of living. I endeavor
To hold the I as one only for the cloud
Of which I am a fragment, yet to which I’m vowed
To be responsible. Its light against my face
Reveals the witness of the stars, each in its place
Singing, each compassed by the rest,
The many joined to one, the mightiest to the least.
It is so great a thing to be an infinitesimal part
of this immeasurable orchestra the music bursts the heart,
And from this tiny plosion all the fragments join:
Joy orders the disunity until the song is one.
“I am unable to contain myself in unity” … held together in Christ … chosen in Him, adopted, redeemed, and forgiven. In Him, He is building a spiritual house … we are His living stones. This unity is both personal and communal.
As many colored threads are woven artfully into tapestry, as many individual notes make up a symphony, as many varied cells create one body so I am individually and together with you, my brothers and sisters, made whole in him.
… joy unspeakable and full of glory- the half has never yet been told! …
Father, you who are the master of diversity,
The colors, shapes, sizes, distinguishing markings –
The personalities both big and small – your human creation!
You who designed us for community yet graciously
Did not clone us –
Would you create in Your children a spirit of unity
One heart, one mind, one Spirit, one WAY …
May we serve each other well –
Honoring the commandment to love as we love ourselves
Seeking to serve, taking delight in honoring each other –
Considering others more important than ourselves –
So that in every way we point others to You,
Our God and Redeemer! Amen.