There is another matter regarding the church – division. Daily I feel the pain of my divided body; daily I agonize over the shame of so-called “Christians” who are estranged from one another. Have nothing to do with such conflict. Instead, think with me of ways to create unity and harmony.
Do you not understand that division, like lukewarm devotion, gives the outsiders one more flaw to magnify. They are constantly saying, “If there is only one God and one Christ and one body of Christ, why are there so many churches?” I have not called you to an organizational unity, but you must at least have a united spirit. Even the most basic unity will wipe out competition and strife. Work with me for unity and generosity in the larger mission of the church.
– Ben Johnson, I Stand at the Door, CTS Press, 1986, 6-7.
I’m praying not only for themJohn 17:20-21
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
2The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
- Have you witnessed a time when division in the church was destructive? What is there to learn from that experience.
- When have you seen unity and harmony at work? What is there to learn from that experience as well.
- Spend time thinking with God about the divisions that exist within the Christian church, focusing in on those ways we can create unity and harmony.
Send your Spirit to guide our churches
so that we might become of one heart and mind
with you and your son Jesus Christ.
Help me in my personal life
and as part of Christ’s body
to seek unity and harmony
instead of division.
As I continue to think with you,
allow me to see all that is around me
through your eyes.