As we end our week-long reflection on unity, I find that this evening, as the sun slumps behind the mountains to my west, my heart is at peace. I don't believe that much in the outside world has changed over the past seven days. In fact, as we draw closer to November 3 - Election Day - I feel that the state of the world is actually growing more chaotic. More toxic. Less sensitive. Less humane. However, what I have found after a week of reflecting on unity and the individual state of my soul is this: When I meditate on the word of God, I improve my heart.
As we end our time together on this theme, I want to leave you with some final verses on unity to meditate on this evening as you open your arms to embrace this new week.
It feels good to live in peace with one another, doesn't it friend? How are you living in unity with those around you right now? Name what is pleasant. Name what is good!
"Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God?” (Malachi 2:10).
How can we live more harmoniously alongside one another when we recognize that we are all children from the same Father? We are all residents of this Earth created by the same loving Creator. He made every one of us. He knit us together in the womb.
“I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me," (John 17:23).
In this section of the gospel, Jesus prays for all believers. Although we weren't there with him, I have to believe that with these words, Jesus was praying for us, too. If we spend some time personalizing this scripture, we can read it as if Jesus is speaking to us. I am in you all and God is in me. May you all experience such perfect unity that the world will know that God sent me and that God loves you all as much as He loves me. Jesus prayed for us before he laid down his life for us, friends. I don't know if it gets any more powerful than that.
“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone,” (Romans 12:16-18).
I am sensing a theme between unity and harmony, aren't you, friends? May we not be too proud, regardless of political affiliation, religious beliefs or cultural norms, to enjoy the company of one another - especially during these long days of quarantine. May we not speak ill of one another. May we not respond to sin with more sin or evil with more evil. May we try to hold our tongue and live in peace with all of friends, with all of our family, and yes, with all of our foes.
“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude,” (1 Peter 3:8).
May this next week we try to turn together and face the same direction. May be try to see the world through a different lens, with neither being better than the other, but simply unique. May we love each other as we love family. May we approach one another with tenderness and grace. May we take on a posture of humility in our work this week, knowing God's got us in his capable hands.