Summary: By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:35
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:35
When we look at the world’s religions, sadly at times we see that Christians do not shine out brighter in the area of unity and loving each other. A hindu asked a Indian Christian leader why there were so many divisions in the Church in India. After a moment of consideration the leader told the hindu he had a very good question and did not have an answer for him. The Church is to be unified, we as believers are to be one and love each other in a way that we can serve one another. When we call ourselves a Christian, follower of Christ or Disciple we need to realize that our Lord calls us to love all others who call themselves the same. Christ does not ask but requires us to love each other and not accusing or constantly questioning each other. Paul the Apostle pleas with believers to life worthy of the calling of being disciples to humbly love each other (Ephesians 4:1-2). Humility, gentleness, patience, and peace towards others is the lines where we need to seek to pursue unity. When pride, jealously, greed and impatience take pre-domience in believers then dis-unity ensues. The world watches our lives, words and as the hindu say all different churches in the same city. Though perhaps it is not possible for all churches to dissolve into one, we can start to act and treat other churches as being one Church in the Lord. The trinity of God is one, how can we not be one with other brothers and sisters. Christ’s body is not divided but whole as one.
St. Nicholas says, “The Church of Christ is One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic. The Church is called universal because she is not confined by place, not by time, nor by nation nor language.” When we repent and are born-again, baptized in water, we become part of God’s universal Church of all believers in Jesus Christ for all time and eternity. We enter into a fellowship of love with God through His Son and with all true believers (1 John 1:3). Looking critically at different expressions of God’s body throughout history can produce a unloving attitude towards other believers. It can be pride saying that the type of Christianity we have now 2000 years later is better then what most had in Church history. We need to humbly seek to love other brothers and sisters and also identify with our family of God throughout history. We are just a very small part of a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) a company of pilgrims (1 Peter 2:11-12). Can we emphasis too much on the need for unity in the Church? Jesus died shedding his precious blood for a unified Church. Are we pursuing unity with other believers? Are we seeking to love other disciples? Father grant us eyes to see your Church as you see it, give us love that is your love for others in the body of Christ. Amen.