Yesterday we talked about differentiation, if you missed it you can read the post here. We’re going to continue our discussion by talking about being one.
In Luke’s description of the early church, I’m impressed by his use of the word “one”.
“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” Acts 1:14 (ESV)
“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.” Acts 4:32 (ESV)
Think about the opportunities for disagreement within the early church. Some of these people had been beaten down by religion and others were religious guys who came to know Christ. Then non-Jews were welcomed in, which was surely an opportunity for division amongst the group. You had people from different races and backgrounds welcomed into the body of Christ; talk about a perfect breeding ground for dissension.
Yet, they were one.
I once worked with a girl who I struggled to communicate with. We were a little too different in some ways and a little too similar in other ways; we were quite the odd pairing. One day, I was talking with our boss who reminded me that we were working toward the same outcome, we wanted the same result, we just went about it in very different ways and each thought our way was the only way. We butted heads often but once I understood that we were working toward the same goal I was better able to work with her.
This is how it should be with our communities. We will disagree with each other because we are imperfect human beings and that’s okay. We will have different views on certain things because of our upbringings and our worldview, even if we are all Christians. And that’s okay. But if, within our communities, our purpose, minds, and hearts are all one, then we will be better equipped to weather any storm or disagreement.
Let’s strive to be one community, one body, one church, courageously loving each other and others well.
For more on being one read: Unity
Download Community: You’re Welcome at the Table, a free PDF, at sarahjcallen.com/community