National Day of Unity
Posted by: jepenner on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 10:28PM
Today is the National Day of Unity. According to Pacer.org, today is a day focused on coming together to find ways to end bullying. The National Day of Unity is a day for promoting kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. If there was ever a national day for us, this is it, isn’t it? And days like this are necessary: one look at the comments section of any political article on social media, and it is obvious that this message is needed during this election cycle.
This quote I heard on a recent episode of the Grace Based Families Podcast has stuck with me. So often we think of unity in the context of presenting a “united front”, where everyone has to agree in order to get anything done. Long-time churchgoers sometimes get twitchy when you start talking about unifying the church, largely due to theological concerns (for instance, some are wary of becoming the one world religion, thereby triggering the end-of-days prophesy). However, this is not what the Bible means when it calls for unity within the Church. Rather, it means working together, loving each other, and accepting each other despite differences. Even if we read different Bible translations. Even if we sing differently at church. Even if we aren’t physically back at church yet. Even if we are. Even if we vote differently. Again, for those in the back: EVEN IF WE VOTE DIFFERENTLY. Even if we don’t vote (ok, that one hurt to write. Please vote!).
The New Testament has plenty of examples of church leaders who thought differently but still had unity. While reading the latter parts of the New Testament, one may read the writings of Peter, Paul and James and see conflict and disagreement. Can you imagine the Twitter threads between them? (I mean, assuming Paul would even put up with the character limits):
The Gospel should be preached in Jerusalem!
To the Gentiles!
No, to both the Jews and the Gentiles!
We need to keep the law!
The law no longer applies!
But do not mistake this for disunity! Closer study reveals that these writings complemented each other. It was a dialogue, and it was part of God’s design. The Holy Spirit is mighty. He is not limited by elections or church buildings or viruses. Before calling out another believer’s choice, remember that differences have been a part of the Church since its foundation. Let's strive to answer God’s call in Ephesians to maintain the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”.