“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” vs. 29
Guided by the Spirit, Paul had developed a magnificent vision of unity in the Church that aligned perfectly with the desires of Jesus for his followers. He knew that the congregations of Galatia were a mixture of Jews and Greeks, slave and free, and men and women–he further knew that those dualities could easily be sources of friction and disunity. Choosing his words carefully he crafted a beautiful description of unity in Christ that has stood the test of time, and is particularly relevant for us. Through the centuries, for a lot of different reasons, the Church of Christ has been beset by schisms and divisions of every kind, and our desired unity has been elusive. Different languages, liturgies, and theologies have resulted in thousands of different denominations and sects. Even relatively homogenous congregations have had a hard time avoiding the “separation” movement that is currently sweeping the church. But unity is not dead–we still experience it regularly in worship as we gather at the Lord’s Table. Here we come together, rich and poor, gay and straight, liberal and conservative, and receive the bread and wine with the words, “Given and shed for you!” And in that moment, shoulder to shoulder, we truly are one in Christ Jesus. May those times multiply among us!
Thought for the Day: When is it toughest for me to practice unity?