This is not a call to uniformity, acting the same or awkward family gatherings.
This is a call to Spirit lead, pride shattering, truth pursuing, grace filled fellowship with one another.
This is a call to love one another like Jesus has loved us.
This is a call for God-exalting unity.
Recently in Oxford, Christians from all over the UK and beyond came together for a day of fasting and prayer over student mission. The day was a beautiful expression of God’s unity, as several people with different stories from different denominations and cultures joined together in affectionate love for God and for each other. As we prayed for mission, God broke our hearts over division in the Church and called us to rise up as one. We repented of pride that causes disunity in the Church. We prayed for reconciliation between broken relationships. And we rejoiced over scriptures splattered with God’s heart for unity.
Mission and unity are inseparable, the more we pursue one, the more God reveals the other.
In the book of John, Jesus prays that the Church would mirror his relationship with the Father, as one rooted in God.
“…that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:21-23
Here, Jesus reveals to us one of his tip top tips for mission – unity, which leads to two things…
- The world will know that the Father has sent Jesus
- The world will know that they are loved by Jesus
No matter how difficult we might find the reality of unity, or how complicated the challenges surrounding it are, we shouldn’t be distracted. The Bible is absolutely clear that unity is undeniably important to God.
So today, as God calls us to be one, I dare you to knock down the barriers of ungodly division with Christ-displaying love, and be a catalyst for God-centred unity.