Summary: Unity, oneness, the church, purpose
THE MIRACLE OF UNITY
1 Cor. 1-10 (p807) August 29, 2010
"I APPEAL TO YOU BROTHERS, IN TH ENAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT ALL OF YOU AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER SO THAT THERE BE NO DIVISIONS AMONG YOU AND THAT YOU MAY BE PERFECTLY UNITED IN MIND AND THOUGHT".
"Do you believe in Miracles? YES!"
That is one of the most famous calls in sports broadcasting history. Announcer Al Micheals yelled it as the U.S. Hockey team pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
Their defeat of the Soviet Hockey team is referred to as "The Miracle on Ice"
The movie "Miracle" tells the story of the 1980 United States Hockey team that shocked the world. Two days after beating the Russians, the U.S. defeated Finland and won the gold medal.
Why was it such a "Miracle?"
Because the soviet hockey team had held the gold medal for the last 20 years…they were the most dominant hockey team in the world. Shortly before the Olympics they had destroyed an All-Star teams made up of NHL players.
The American team was all amateurs at that time, mostly college kids. They were seeded twelve in the tournament. No one, except them believed they could win.
Herb Brooks was charged with assembling and coaching this group of amateurs. Before the dream of Gold could become a reality, he had to unify a team of guys who came from different backgrounds, different colleges and different parts of the country. He had to maximize their energy knowing they came with their own approaches and styles of play. Unity did not come easily. When they first sat down together he asked them "who do you play for? and each player responded with the name of his college team.
Her Brooks knew that had to change…so after a halfhearted performance in an exhibition game he had them do iron sprints on skates…over and over again until they ere beyond exhaustion. During the brutal workout he yelled "who do you play for?... and one player responded "I play for the United States of American". It was a defining moment…and with that he dismissed them. The group of individual became one. They no longer saw themselves as playing for different schools, but as playing for the U.S.A. They became a team. Each player committed themselves to be unified for a greater cause. The energy and contribution of each individual became maximized. It was beautiful the impact was great…A miracle was accomplished.
If we are to be a church with a powerful purpose we have to believe in miracles…
I. THE MIRACLE OF UNITY
The sacrificed death of Christ makes all believers one with God. It's called atonement. At-One-ment. It’s the miracle of salvation a holy God and sinful man unified.
But God also desires the miracle of Unity for His church and a lot more is at stake than a gold medal…eternity depends on it, lives depend on it. If a church is not unified it divides and ministry suffers and the outside world watches.
In the last days of Jesus life. He ached for this unity to exist. Here's what he prayed.