19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”
Chapter 18 in the gospel of Matthew, is a good reminder that we are all brothers and sisters in faith. For me, it is a reminder of “Who is my brother, Jesus?” (see Matthew 12:48)
As I write today, I am listening to music and thinking about how this scripture encourages us all to build church unity. Perhaps it is the idea of “seeking individual justice” versus “building unity” that keeps us from remembering that we are all siblings in faith.
When we are looking for justice, do we count on someone to make things right with us first, before we see that other person as part of our family in Christ? If so, then how can we really hope to ever build lasting church unity? For me, church unity comes when we know one another as equals, despite our differences. Church unity has to come from loving and accepting all our collective differences.
As I hear another song, I am thinking of the thousands of combinations of notes that make up any musical composition. I wonder, would we prefer the sameness of just one note? Don’t we instead prefer the incredible combinations of notes and sounds that offer us music – a whole spectrum of sounds that enrich our lives?
Perhaps to know lasting unity, we have to embrace togetherness in difference as part of the plan. Like the tones that combine to make a new chord, everyone brings a different note, each providing melody and harmony that is unique and beautiful. Together we are an unbelievable new sound that uses our differences to create something that none of us could be on our own.
I think of Jesus’ words…“When two or more are gathered in my name, there I am also.” I know that Jesus has to be composing the best score ever written. Imagine the whole symphony of people united through him!
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
What does the church unity and the combination of people make you think about? Like music as a metaphor, what are your ideas of church unity? How do we as a congregation create and continue to build church unity?
Prayer: Loving Lord, through you and by you, we make amazing music together. Through you, we know that the world is better by our togetherness than we could ever hope to be by ourselves. Amen.