Jump Start # 2969
Psalms 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”
This week we are looking at things to be thankful for. That ought to be an easy task for us. It’s easy to think about the obvious things such as family, health, jobs, and food. We must never take those for granted but our level of thankfulness needs to extend beyond the obvious. Get a group of people together, turn the topic to items we are thankful for, and family, health, jobs and foods are repeated over and over.
Here is one for you to think about: Unity in the church. This is something that doesn’t just happen and in many places it is missing. It’s hard to worship when tensions and stress are high. It’s hard to focus when you are upset, hurt and feel like things are not right. That is exactly where many are today. Going to worship is a struggle because one often leaves feeling worse than when they came in.
But when things are right, and unity abounds, as our passage identifies today, how good and how pleasant that is. The joys of unity brings a wealth of love, acceptance and cooperation among members. Here are some things to consider:
First, church services become a emotional and spiritual oasis when unity is strong. We can feel beat up by the world. The work environment can be very toxic. The number of people quitting their jobs is staggering. The ‘great resignation’ is underway in our country. Fed up with the corporate system, many have thrown in the towel. Kentucky leads the nation in the number of people quitting jobs. Social media can be another place of turmoil and heartache. But in the church, when unity prevails, there is a sense of peace, calm and rightness. One doesn’t feel challenged or that they have to prove themselves. No one is being judged. No one is being compared to others. All are loved, wanted and accepted in Christ. This makes going to worship a highlight of the week. The soul is refreshed. The heart is reminded. Around are those who love, serve and care, even about you. For that, we must be thankful.
Second, among each other we are shown to be humble. This begins with our leaders as they connect us to the Lord. There is no room for boasting. We stand before the Lord. Selfishness is squeezed out of us as we put others first. We serve. We follow. We help. Hand-in-hand, we honor Jesus. What a delight that as in Galatians, Jew-Gentile, master-slave, male-female, could overlook those differences and be one in Christ. Today, it might be, white-black, PhD-high school grad, millionaire-entry level job, all one in Christ. Loved. Excepted. Wanted. United. What a blessing. What a joy. Much to be thankful for.
Third, when unity is strong, it’s easy to pray for each other, and pitch in and help each other. We do that because we love each other. The way we serve is amazing. No one is alone. No one carries the load all on their own. We lean on each other. We encourage each other. We help each other. This is true from the shepherds down to the sheep and from the sheep to the shepherds. What an amazing group of people. So many would come running if you had a need. So many would open their homes, their wallets and their hearts if you needed them. I have seen so many times, a funeral home packed with people from the church. I’ve seen the crowd at weddings filled with people from the church. What a blessing that is. We have been there for each other. We’ve seen these children grow up, get married and start their own families. We’ve been through smiles, tears, surgeries, fun times and hard times. We are indeed more than a church, we are family, the family of Christ.
And, when that feeling is strong, one doesn’t push his own agenda. One doesn’t demand. One doesn’t get ugly and accuse others. We are patient with each other. We understand each other. We love each other. We have no problems forgiving each other. We are quick to apologize and we are quicker still to extend grace and forgive. That’s that families do. That’s what unity does.
So, this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to thank the Lord for being part of an amazing unity that stands strong in the Lord and in their love for each other. Each person adds to the unity. Each person makes all the difference.
Bless be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. Had it not been for Jesus, most of us would have never known each other. Most of us would have missed this amazing unity and incredible love. Much to be thankful for. Much to work hard to keep the ties strong.