Years ago I was reading in a Prayer Handbook where it asked the question, ‘What was the greatest difficulty facing the twelve disciples?’ While I pondered the problems of spreading the Gospel in an alien world or the level of persecution under Roman rule I turned the page to discover the answer, ‘How to get on with the other eleven.’
Even now we sing of a church, ‘by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.’ Yet Jesus prayed for his disciples, ‘that they may be one, as he and his Father are one,’ ie one in nature, purpose, strategy, of one mind and heart. The Bible is all about relationships, how Jesus firstly restores our relationship with God and how that should lead us to building relationships with one another. It’s amazing how many Bible passages contain the phrase ‘one another’.
- Love one another
- Forgive one another
- Bear one another’s burdens
- Care for
- Don’t envy
- Confess your sin’s to
- Admonish, teach, warn
- We are members one of another
- Do not speak evil of
- Don’t judge
We share Communion together which reminds us of our common need. We have all sinned and nee the grace of God. Humility is key. And we have a common purpose, to make Christ known and to build his kingdom.
Unity is a vital witness. Community is one thing the world fails badly at and it ought to be one thing the church can teach and demonstrate.
The Trefeca community was an attempt to live, ‘holding all things in common.’ Like many others before and after it didn’t last but it’s a noble ambition.
Heavenly Father we worship you, one God in three persons, demonstrating perfect unity. Forgive us when pride and arrogance cause us to dismiss others, when we come to believe that we have a monopoly on truth, when we think our way is the only way. Forgive us when we label others as different for whatever reason and so separate ourselves.
The original disciples would probably have killed each other were it not for Jesus. May he hold us together in the same way, maintaining unity in diversity of nationality, language and culture, talents and skills.
May we build one another up in the Lord, encourage each other and create a society in which all people are valued and loved, where all can fulfil their God given potential. May we work together to build your kingdom of peace and justice, with love at the heart.