Progress Toward Unity
Hello Dear Friends,
I have been thinking so much about the division within our communities these last few days. Division is something that seems to be desired and even a primary method of self-identification apart from others. People search for unique ways to stand out, or to fit in. We find divisive cliques inside schools and churches, offices and departments, politics and ethnicities. Of this, we are all guilty. Maybe I am all alone in thinking that we, Christians, should have no tolerance for this and should change our current path. There is NO division in the body of Christ--or there shouldn't be. And how long will this continue? Can the true body of Christ ever be united with such defining lines drawn? I would say no. As long as we participate in and encourage a culture that insists that individuality is the correct answer, we will not function as the body was meant to. We will never achieve the full ability that unity provides.
What made me think about this? I'll tell you. You see that picture that is on the title page? That is my 1-year old daughter at her daycare. If you look close enough, you will see that she is actually holding hands with the other child in the picture. My daughter is white, and the other kid--her absolute BEST friend--is black. Apparently, they do everything together! The truth is that this would not have been a reality less than 100 years ago. Schools weren't even integrated until the late 1950s! I mean, folks, we are making progress! This picture revealed something to me that I don't know I would have ever seen otherwise: the beauty in unity beyond consciousness. These kids know nothing about color or race or gender or social background or anything else that divides the adults in our world. Man, we literally need to pay attention to these little ones. What's interesting about this is that there is instruction in the Bible that even gives us clues as to how important being a child is. Lets look!
"Truly I tell you," he said, "unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child--this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:2-4).
There is something to these little ones. They know nothing, yet they have it all figured out! They don't break off into little groups of people who are defined by their sports team, careers, status, political party, education, ability, income, cars, or anything else! I am convinced that the example from the kids is one we should pay much more attention to. We grow up and decide we (the adults) are the ones who know best. Yet, the ones who have no knowledge at all are the ones who we can learn the best traits of humanity from.
Jesus knew this. He knew that there is quality found in children that reflects the best of humanity. Kids believe everything is possible. Logic does not dominate their prayer life. If a kid prays for something, they KNOW it's going to happen. If a kid tells their mom or dad that they have a "boo boo", they believe mom and dad can comfort that. They rely fully on the adults around them. They trust completely that their environment is safe. They hear and do. Sometimes they do their own thing and soon regret it. They live and they learn. Most of all, they love. They truly have it all figured out. We have made progress, it's true, but the fruition of unity is found today only in the example of our children. The adults need to get on board.
We have made major strides in our culture, but we have to do better. The truth is that the church needs to have the exact same unity that is shown by these little ones. There shouldn't be "black" churches or "white" churches. There shouldn't be a chasm between how we worship or who we feel comfortable worshiping with. There shouldn't be this pride, this arrogance that prevents us from fellowship because it is "different." Some will say, "well they clap" or "they don't use instruments" and this stops them from general fellowship with the rest of the body! We have a Bible. We have instruction. We have the promises of God! Yet, we stop our own relationships from developing because of little differences. My advice? (and trust me, I know I'm no one of significance). I think we MUST be more active in our approach to reaching out to sister congregations. Someone make the effort! Someone leave your bubble of comfort! Someone be like these little ones!
If there is any way I can encourage you, pray for you, or help in any way, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Until next time...