Festival of August 13
August 10, 2014
Unity is hard to maintain. My way and your way often conflict.
Unity takes work. I must work at loving others, listening to them, being careful how I tell them I think they are wrong. If we don’t, divorce rates go up, siblings quit talking to one another, coworkers harm one another. It seems too difficult to work together and take the time to figure out how we can stay united in our differences; it is easier to go our own way.
Unity is worth the effort. When the Herrnhut community so long ago found themselves at odds with each other, they divided themselves. As they came together to pray and read the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit began working on their hearts. It took effort to let go of anger and opinions to listen to God. As they endeavored to listen, the Scriptures in their entirety began to shape their understanding. They came together in anger, but they ended united once again.
Unity isn’t about me. The right way doesn’t rest on my shoulders. John in his first epistle reminds us that God is love and we are called to love one another. God can work out those issues that would tear us apart; we simply need to assert as Joshua and the people of Israel did, “The LORD our God we will serve, and him we will obey” (Joshua 24:24).
Unity is about being the body of Christ, working together until we understand. Unity is a lifelong practice that grows us in the image of Christ. God loves us; no one is left out. Only God can change us into the people he created us to be. Let us break bread in love and unity.
Trina Holmberg, pastor, Moravian Church, Unionville, Michigan