One of the great scandals within Christianity is the lack of unity. In some cities there are tens of thousands of different denominations that all call themselves Christian! Many of these are directly in opposition to one another and find it difficult to say anything good about some of their fellow Christians in other churches. The author of the Letter to the Ephesians exhorts us to ‘preserve the unity of the spirit (of the followers of Jesus Christ) through peace in one body and one Spirit. What else can he mean other than that we should be living in unity with one another?

Maybe we as individuals do not have the power to bring about reconciliation or unity at the level of the church institutions however we do have the ability to work with other like-minded Christians in works and projects that will perhaps be the starting point for reconciliation at the higher levels. Perhaps some of the best areas to begin are various social projects within a given area. If each group has their own small project then there will be an inevitable repetition of infrastructure that if shared would make available both more manpower and more resources for the actual project. I am sure that in the vast majority of the social projects there will not be any dispute as to either the goal or the means by which the project will be pursued.

When we consider that we are all professing faith in Jesus Christ we ought to be able to work together in a lot of the things we do, and even in certain worship settings as well. With a little bit of goodwill coming from the various groups there ought to be the possibility of developing a strong sense of unity and togetherness as we serve the Gospel. There will be inevitable frictions and conflicts, but let us seek to work our way through them rather than become a part of the problem by walking away and refusing to talk or work with others.

Of course, the same goes for the various factions and groups within our local church communities! Let us seek to deal with problems that arise while they are still small and in their infancy as when they escalate they become proportionally more difficult to resolve.

Am I a force for unity within my community or do I tend gather people behind my idea over and against the views or plans of others?

Holy Spirit, Spirit of peace and unity, work in my life to make me a force for unity and peace within my local community and beyond.