Imagine sitting down to play a board game for the first time, but the other players keep telling you different rules and different ways to play the game. You wouldn’t know what to do. If you are as short-fused as me, you’re likely to get up from the table and simply walk away. Their confusion and bickering sucked all the fun out of the game. Game over.
Today, the lent season is over. Good Friday is almost forgotten. Easter Sunday is all cleaned up. Throughout the U.S., people flocked to churches yesterday. People went to Methodist churches, Lutheran churches, Catholic churches, Baptist churches, Episcopal churches, Church of Christ churches, community churches, and … the list could go on.
The churches were packed yesterday because there is one truth they all have in common: Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin, but He rose from the dead on the 3rd day and sits at the right hand of the Father. Each church listed above is based on this belief. Every. Single. One.
Ephesians 4:4-6 provides the 7 reasons we should all be shouting “United We Stand!” There is:
- One body
- One Spirit
- One hope
- One Lord
- One faith
- One baptism
- One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (can I get an AMEN!?)
Just before giving this list of unity, Paul tells the Ephesians:
“Therefore, I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” ~ Ephesians 4:1-3
When Jesus died on the cross, the “church” was simply the people who believed through faith that Jesus was the Messiah. Paul was imploring them to walk in a manner worthy of Christ-followers. Paul was warning them to be diligent to preserve the unity of Spirit. And yet, we have different kinds of “churches” on every corner doing different things. It’s confusing!
No wonder those who don’t believe in Jesus yet are skeptical. Perhaps all the different churches are sucking the joy out of Christianity because we lost our one Spirit, our one hope, our one Lord.
Lucky for us, Paul gives us 4 ways to live like we believe in Jesus and keep unity with other believers in the verse above:
- Have humility.
- Be gentle.
- Exercise patience.
- Show tolerance.
And in all these things we must act with love. If every person who believes in Easter acted with humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, and love for one another, the Earth would tremble and Heaven would shout with joy for all the new believers who would put their faith in Christ’s work on the cross! Lives would be changed. It would be so amazing. Nothing could stop such a movement.
I pray today that I would live in a manner worthy of the Cross and that I would be diligent in creating a unity of Spirit among other believers.
3 Ideas to Create a Unity of Spirit with other believers:
- Invite women from other denominations/churches to your small group or Bible study.
- Ask women in your neighborhood to join you in a service project. It’s likely you’ll find neighbors who go to other churches who would love to join your effort to serve.
- When you are around other believers, focus on the common ground: Jesus! Be humble, gentle, patient, tolerant, and loving toward others if differences arise.
What ideas do you have for knocking down our “church” walls?