Summary: This sermon highlights the need for the Church body to be united in "mind and purpose" in the midst of conflicting, and constantly changing ideologies and trends.
SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
UNITED WE STAND
Let me read one of Aesop’s Greek fables; In the forest, there lived four oxen. They were very good friends and always went together to graze in the fields. However, every time they went, a hungry lion tried to attack them. The lion longed for their meat. But they withstood his attack by fighting him as a team. They attacked him with their horns and the lion fled to another forest. One day, the four oxen fought among themselves. They started going to the forest separately.
When the lion returned, he saw that the group was divided. He planned to take advantage of this situation. Finding the first ox grazing in the fields alone, he crept from behind and ate him up. The next day, he attacked the second ox and killed it too. This way he killed the third and the fourth ox too. Had the four oxen stayed together, they wouldn’t have lost their lives. Moral Lesson: "United we live, divided we will be killed.” From where came the popular phrase, "United we stand, divided we fall". This phrase has been used in mottos, from nations and states to songs. You may be familiar with a popular song "United We Stand" written by Tony Hiller and Peter Simmons and was first recorded in 1970 by The Brotherhood of Man.
I was very familiar with this phrase growing up in India. We were told how our early fathers, the freedom fighters stood united and faced the then mighty British Empire. It was our unity that brought us independence. The basic concept however is that unless people are united, it is easy to destroy them. Is there a biblical basis for this concept of unity? What is the power of Unity? What breaks unity? If unity is imperative for any nation, society and church’s survival how then can we achieve such unity? Let’s begin with the biblical base of unity.
I. THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF UNITY:
Repeatedly, throughout the Bible we see the concept of unity and the call for unity. We see this concept of unity played out in the beginning of creation itself. When God created the world He just called things to come into existence all by Himself by His shear power and command. When all he said was let there be light, there was light. But when it came to creating the master piece of all of his creation He did not do it independently. He consulted with the other two persons in the Godhead namely the Son and the Holy Spirit.. He said, “Let us make man in our Image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Gen1:26
The creation account of man tells us two things. Firstly, God was, is and always lives in unity and His desire for us is that we too would live in unity. Secondly, it is not to one man or woman God gave the responsibility to rule or to take care of the world, but to all mankind. It is a collective responsibility. Each of us has a role to play in the welfare of the world. The survival of the planet earth depends on our unity and collaborative effort. How do we define unity? Unity is the state or quality of being one; oneness, mutual agreement, and harmony. Let’s talk about the power of unity.
II. THE POWER OF UNITY:
We can learn great lessons of unity and its power simply by observing the nature. For example a single snow flake that looks beautiful and innocent. If it remains on its own it can easily fly away or quickly melt away. On it’s own it does no harm and poses no threat to any one does it? But when it unites with other snow flakes, they gain more strength and power. Those of us who live in New England know the power of the accumulation of “snow flakes” They have the power to work havoc and bring a whole administration to halt.
If that is the power of the united snow flakes can you imagine the power generated when people are united? Even God takes note of this power. Remember the first ever human construction of a tower in Gen 11th Chapter? This is a classical example of the power of unity. At some point in time after the flood the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come let us” make bricks… Come let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” In these couple of verses we hear the words “Come let us” twice; where did they get that concept of unity? There is power in the words such as “Let Us” more than you realize than words like, “Let me” or “I can or I will”