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One of Jesus’ biggest concerns is the unity of those who believe in and follow Him. He makes this very clear in His intercessory prayer in John 17.

For many, unity is synonymous with uniformity: no differences, everyone is the same. In an ideal world, we ourselves are the measure of all things, and everyone else corresponds to our own ideal. This is not what Jesus wanted, on no account. He saw things completely different. Unity for Him means oneness in Christ. He does not expect everyone to be the same, but He does expect that we are all filled by His love, and love one another in our otherness.

If the love of Christ is missing in the congregation, differences will lead to division. All you will see is the otherness of your neighbour and feel frustrated. You will only see yourself and how you would do things differently, and probably better. But where the love of Christ exists, such thoughts will disappear, and differences will even be found to be enriching. In such a congregation everyone is one in Christ. Different. Completely different. But together in Christ.

Food for thought from a divine service by the Chief Apostle