Years ago, I worked for a summer at a United Methodist camp. This particular summer, the leaders of the camp had been very intentional in hiring a staff that was diverse—racially, ethnically, and culturally. For some members of the staff, this was the first time that they had lived and worked with people from different countries and cultures and, unfortunately, even in the supportive context of a Christian camp, mistakes were made. Unintentionally, things were said that were hurtful; assumptions were made that caused the staff to divide instead of unifying.
In the church, “unity” is a word that we hold in high regard, and yet the reality is that we are all still broken, fallible human beings that tend to divide and retreat when we feel threatened or uncomfortable. As this passage from Ephesians shows us, the issue of unity has been an issue for Christians since the beginning of the Jesus movement in the first century.
Eventually, after several difficult weeks, our camp staff once again found our unity. Where did we find it? At the Lord’s table. It was as we shared in the Lord’s supper, surrounding each other in love and all surrounded by God’s love, that we found, as young people, what Christian unity meant. There were still difficult conversations and there was much prayer that was needed, but at the table, we saw the image of God in each other.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Where in the world do you see a need for unity?
- How does your Christian faith help you understand this situation?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- How does Jesus tell us to treat those who are different than us?
God, we are unique creations seeking unity in your Holy Spirit. Your love has the power to bind us together. Heal us of our brokenness and send us out to love with our neighbors. Through Jesus, we pray, Amen.