Posted by: Jo | January 31, 2014

Meet Your Relatives

“As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1 – 3)

image Just recently my husband and I were invited to attend an afternoon session aimed at bringing together Christian believers from different denominations; Grassroots Ecumenism at its best. The title on the front of the program we were handed as we entered, summed it up beautifully “MEET YOUR RELATIVES”. I was very impressed with this title as it stressed we belong to the family of God. We are not little pockets of isolated groups who meet each Sunday, we have a huge loving family who share our Heavenly Father with us. The bond we all share is recognizing the incredible gift of salvation we have been given through Jesus Christ. The fact that we worship in different ways should not be a barrier to us meeting together and to affirm what we have in common

The early church in Corinth, was having similar problems facing denominations today. Divisions in thinking, were beginning to divide the believers. Division in any church is the quickest way to weaken it and Paul knew he must write and urge reconciliation between different groups, which were already beginning to form.

“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this; One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ”. Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:11 – 13)

Of course Paul was reminding them they must remain united as followers of Jesus.

The psalmists knew that God was able to richly bless those who chose to live in unity with one another;

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

The psalm ends like this;

“…For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.” (Psalm 133:3)

After an inspiring interaction with others at our grassroots ecumenism afternoon, we were all sent forth with this question;image

What one step can you take so we may grow together in unity?

We were discussing our experience with our Home Group and some of us confessed that perhaps ignorance of other denominations’ beliefs caused division. Make an effort to learn about another denomination would be a good step. Others suggested that visiting other churches helped to strengthen what we had in common. Choose a church in your area and join in a Sunday service. Others thought that making friends with a neighbor who you knew went to another church would break down misunderstanding. Ask them to go for a cup of coffee. Try not to think of your way of worshipping as the only way. Be open to new ideas. Join a Bible study group with others from different churches. We had lots of good suggestions to make us all think how we in our own small corners could take steps to please the Heavenly Father as he saw his children happily co-existing under the shelter of his hand. One of my favorite hymns of all time, really sums up this thought.

Bind us together, Lord

bind us together

with cords that cannot be broken

Bind us together, Lord

bind us together, Lord

Bind us together with love.

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Responses

  1. Well said Jo. I think things have changed for the better since we realised this truth as teenagers. Love and God bless, Mary

    Like

  2. All good thoughts Jo ! Thankyou, jennifer

    Like


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