Unity is a gift from God. I think many of you have experienced this in real life. When we have this gift from God, we are blessed. And when we are together, when we are united, we can do anything. But, the most important – when unity fails, life fails.
Devotional for Today, January 17
The Apostle Paul writes a letter to the Christian community in Corinth. He thanks God for this community.
He does not wait any longer to get to the heart of what he is writing this letter about – Unity. The unity of the Church. This is the central and painful theme of the letter.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. (full text at 1 Corinthians 1:10-17)
The Church is the Body of Christ
The apostle’s heart aches when he is informed that the Corinthian community, gathered in the name of Christ Jesus, is in disagreement, divided, and forming coalitions.
It is unfortunate, but this is a topic that is relevant our days. It is, therefore, essential to understanding the words of the Apostle Paul.
The metaphor that the Church is the body of Christ is the favorite of the Apostle Paul. This body has many different members. Christians are different people in appearance, character, or life history. But in being different, we form a united community, a united body.
Unity is a Gift from God
It is also essential to understand that it is not a unity of similar interests or hobbies. And it is not a club, but it is the Church!
And that means that unity is a gift from God. We received it as a gift. Because Jesus gave us the privilege, he made us members of his body. Because we have placed ourselves in the hands of Jesus Christ, that same commitment to Christ holds us together in unity.
This unity is more stable than any other human unity because not even death can break the body of Christ. And this unity reaches its ideal in the Kingdom of God.
In this unity of the Church, the Holy Spirit is at work, whom God has given and who helps us to recognize that Jesus Christ is our Lord. He has saved, and lost human beings, adopted us, and brought us together into one community – the Church.
What Unites Us
- The same Hope that we will all be where our Lord is, in the Kingdom of God.
- The same Faith that Christ Himself taught, that the Apostles preached and that the Bible has passed on to us.
- The same Baptism is in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is how we were born into the Kingdom of God, of which the Church is the prototype.
It is, therefore, essential that we do not forget this unity that has been given to us. But, unfortunately, our human pride and selfishness often trample underfoot this gift of God.
Prayer for Today
Lord Jesus, you are the foundation and the motivation of Christians worldwide. All the forces of evil understand the incredible power of unity. That is why the enemy tries with all his might to destroy it. Satan tries to provoke Christians to get angry with each other.
Therefore, I ask for your help today for all the confessors of Christ in the world so they may overcome their pride. So that attentiveness and love of neighbor may always be present in communication. So that together, in unity, they may know God’s word and seek God’s will. Amen.