Church Unity, Then and Now

Church unity, then and now, featured picture

Demonstration of Unity

I have been spending a lot of time with the book of Colossians. Because book 2 of my current novel series, (which I just finished this week, YIPPEE!!!) includes a major section that centers around the ancient city of Colossae (you can find book 1 HERE).

I was up late last night rereading the beginning of Colossians and it struck me that Paul says, “hello” to so many of his churches by telling them how much and how often he and his entourage thank the Lord for them.

Love in the Colossae Church

And though I have read it dozens and dozens of times over these this last few months. It struck me how this view of Love in the Colossae Church must differ from ours in the 21st century Church.

Now I recognize that I am painting churches with one broad brush and that is unfair. I give that to you and I apologize if am wrong about your church, which I know I will be.

Love For All the Saints

But I started thinking about many, many of the people that I pray with and I recognized that I see Love For All the Saints in Jerry and Todd, and in the 3 Davids, in Lew and Derrick and Tony.

Love For All the Saints is evident in Bryan and Greg and Aaron and Bryant.

There is Love For All the Saints in Tom and in Bennett, in Brandon and Ben and Marc, in Jerry and Vince and Victor.

I also see Love For All the Saints in Roger and Eugene, in Don in Craig and in John and Reed.

I even see Love For All the Saints in the women that I pray with on these conference calls.

They all pray!

Now you need to realize, these men and women come from all over the economic landscape and the spiritual maturity landscape. They come from all over the theological landscape, and, God forbid, the political landscape.

And it took me only half a second to realize what the common denominator was and is, in every single one of them. Surely you know what that common denominator is, don’t you?

They all pray!

The Colossae Leader Prayed

DON’T think I’m writing ONLY TO PASTORS!

Are you a leader in your home, with your siblings, at work, when you are alone and by yourself?

This message is to ALL OF US!

Is it any wonder that Epaphras who played an important role in the Colossae church (Colossians 1:7a) before he went to Paul’s side, is known and remained known as a man of Prayer (Colossians 4:12-13)?

Whose Fault is Dis-Unity

PS. You may want to stop reading this. Continue at your own risk. . .

There is a reason we do not have unity in the church . . . And it is our fault.

It’s not the fault of those that we believe are wrong in their thinking. It’s not the fault of those who won’t change “no matter how much we pray” that they do change.

I believe the problem is in us, the ones who won’t pray that we would love others unconditionally.

Love them when they see the light and get their act together? Absolutely!

But humbly come before the Lord and ask Him to fix me because I don’t like somebody, with a righteous dislike of course! Absolutely No Way!

What’s the Cost

Why don’t we have #ChurchUnity?

I believe the reason we do not have #ChurchUnity is because it is too costly. And we, the ones who “claim we want” unity are, for the most part, unwilling to pay the price.

Imagine what #ChurchUnity means. It means that I have to engage with, “those other people.”

Scripture and Unity

Romans chapter 15 verse 5 (Mark’s paraphrase) May the God of endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves, as you follow Christ.

You want unity? It’s the other guy’s responsibility, right?

Not at all. You want unity? It’s on you, not them.

John chapter 17 verse 21 (again, Mark’s paraphrase) The way they will know that I came from the Father has nothing to do with your ability to parse doctrine, how you baptize, how you pray or how you vote. The way they will know that I came from the Father is if you have unity. By the way that was Jesus speaking.

The next time you talk about unity in the church, would you ask yourself if you’re willing to pay the price to be united with those that you vigorously disagree with?

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

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