“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Psalm 133:1
I am blessed to attend a church with people from many different backgrounds. Our worship and relationships are made richer through the diversity of our lives. I don’t say this to boast, but to say that the experience has taught me a lot about unity within the body.
Unity was so important to Jesus that it was one of the final things He prayed for before His crucifixion. I think that signals us to pray for it as well.
What I’ve learned is that we can’t approach the subject with the goal of pretending our differences don’t exist. That isn’t only ridiculous, it’s not possible. Even if everyone in your church looks the same on the outside, each of us has lived life in a way that gives us a different perspective. It can be a simple as the songs we grew up singing, or as complex as being a survivor of terrible abuse. We have each taken different paths to get where we are today.
No, we can’t act like our differences don’t exist, but we do need to find common ground: Jesus. No matter where you’ve been, Heaven is where you should be going. I may have led a sheltered existence, and you may have grown up on the mean streets, but in Christ we are one.
Whether it’s in your local church, or with the worldwide body, the Lord desires unity among His children – and our enemy despises it. Pray for unity, pray for peace, and pray for understanding among the bretheren. The Psalmist did, Jesus did, and so should we.