“And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” vs. 11
As he neared the end of his time on earth Jesus prayed fervently for his followers, not only that they would know his words had come from God, but that they would be one with each other. Obviously this hasn’t turned out so well as Jesus wanted, since only occasionally do his followers enjoy unity with one another. More often than not, we find ourselves at odds with fellow believers and quickly turn to separation or divorce. Congregations and denominations split and many times the divisions are heart-breaking and vicious. Frequently the splits occur because of human traditions and varying ways of interpreting the bible. But whatever the reason the net result is an undermining of our effectiveness in mission. We’re seen as competing religious organizations and outsiders fail to see the gospel message that is the core of what we believe. They make fun of our internecine struggles and discount the power of the message we’ve been called to proclaim. When we can’t be one with one another, unbelievers see no point in becoming one with us…and turn instead to follow other gods. What a blessing it is when we can put aside differences and embrace one another as fellow believers. It’s a gift of unity that comes straight from the heart of Christ.
Thought for the Day: What are the major causes of disunity in the Church?