Both the Old and New Testaments have a lot to say on the subject of unity. A study of this topic reveals that it is part of God’s design for his creation that his people will live together in harmony. He designed us to need each other. When you explore spiritual gifts as outlined in Romans 12, you can see his big plan…each one of us is a part of a greater whole. Each must do his part for the entire body to function well. This requires that we work together toward the mission that God has given us.
God also made each one of us to be unique. Our diversity can be our greatest strength, yet it is often our diversity that tears us apart. Free will affords us the opportunity to think differently, read differently, interpret differently, respond differently, and form different opinions and passions than our fellow believers.
Many think that in our current culture, unity is impossible to achieve. I disagree.
My cockeyed optimism leads me to hope that we can celebrate our differences as we work toward a mutual goal. Sometimes that requires people to focus on the singular mission and lay down the differences that separate us.
Other times that requires a clean and healthy separation of groups so that different-leaning sides might each prosper toward the singular goal, in a “divide and conquer” kind of way.
Psalm 133 elevates the unity of families. Living together as one is likened to expensive oil lavished upon a leader’s head…so lavish that it drips even down to the collar.
Psalm 133 (Common English Bible)
Look at how good and pleasing it is
when families live together as one!
2 It is like expensive oil poured over the head,
running down onto the beard—
which extended over the collar of his robes.
This ability to live together as one is as pleasing as a refreshing dew streaming on a mountain, and forecasts the blessing of eternal life.
3 It is like the dew on Mount Hermon
streaming down onto the mountains of Zion,
because it is there that the Lord has commanded the blessing:
Living together as one does not imply robotic thinking of a singular hive-mentality. It is presumed that within the camp there will be different needs, different graces, different opinions, and different abilities. But when the families commit to finding the oneness of a common goal, it is pleasing and good.
All believers share a common goal: to proclaim Christ crucified. Every camp is called to make disciples of Jesus Christ. We are all tasked with baptizing, teaching his commandments, and telling everything we know about his salvation.
God so loved the WORLD (in all of its diversity) that he gave his only Son. That is our story and our mission. May we learn to set our differences aside as we focus on the unity of our calling.