“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” ~1Corinthians 1:10
The Apostle Paul grieves at division in the church at Corinth, “for when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not being merely human?” (1Corinthians 2:4). It began at the beginning, when Adam and Eve, rather than follow God, preferred to make their own choices and ate the fruit, and now we follow them. Do a search of churches and you find lots of choices, Presbyterian or Methodist or Baptist or Lutheran or Episcopal or Pentecostal, the list goes on. That is our way, we major on the minors and champion the lesser. We choose style or songs or sermons, and brush aside the prayer of our Savior, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21).
Paul insists that he and Apollos are but gardeners, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1Corinthians 3:6). Jesus said, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19, and a whole bunch of other verses), so Paul, “decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1Corinthians 2:2). He championed Jesus, and it is in that alone that we are Christian, we are united, we are one.
You, O God, are One. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The Lord our God. The Lord is one.
You told us we must be one, that we must love one another, that we must be united, that our joy in You is connected to our unity in Your Spirit. God, bring us together. Your church is strongest when our shared love for Jesus matters more than our differences. Teach me humility and servanthood and love.