Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.” vs. 101 Corinthians 1:10-13
The news that Paul had gotten from Corinth after his departure was disheartening. Because members of the congregation had come from different cities and had come to faith through the influence of a variety of preachers, they had become divided. They felt closer connections to particular leaders than they did to the Lord Jesus Christ, and their unity was being threatened. It was a dismaying surprise to Paul, but something that is very familiar to us. Even though all believers cherish the scriptures and proclaim allegiance to Christ, the Church has been tragically splintered by partisanship and sectarian differences. The result has been an ongoing competition for members and an abandonment of mission. Since members of congregations do have diverse backgrounds and religious preferences, we can understand the divisions. We prefer worshiping with those who have similar convictions, and when there are disagreements sometimes it’s easier to leave than stay. But how much better it is when our communities hold unity as their highest value, and are determined to use their diversities as a strength for mission. There really is only one Church. How much better it is when that unity is reflected in our mind and purpose.
Thought for the Day: Would it be easy or hard for me to leave my congregation?