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. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:2-6 (NIV)
No matter how good the intentions, when you put more than two people in a room, there is a chance for a disagreement. That is because we are all humans and inclined to have our own opinions and preferences. We want our way! Recently, our church did a survey of its membership and in addition to some real and valid concerns about the effectiveness of our work in telling people about the Good News of God’s love for us, a dispute arose over the temperature in the worship center. There’s the crowd who thinks it is as cold as a morgue and some of us who think we are one step away from the fires of hell. Yes, even the most Christlike church can be so human in nature that it drives people away. But, sometimes, sometimes, things come together and we get a taste of heaven on earth. This weekend, our church was a host for a Beth Moore Simulcast. 90,000 people in 516 different sites came together through the miracles of modern technology to worship and study the Bible together. While about 400 women were in our church watching Bible teacher, Beth Moore, make Psalm 37 come alive in an awesome practical lesson on living a godly victorious life, women (and a few brave men) from all around the world were doing the same. It just blows my mind to think that while I closed my eyes and sang ” In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song; This Cornerstone, this solid ground; Firm through the fiercest drought and storm,” 89,999 other people were doing the same. Even more amazing was the unity in our church as our members came together to put on this event. What a blessing it was to see the young women in our church step up into leadership roles as they organized every detail of this event from beautiful decorations (even in the restrooms!) to food to prizes and goodie bags. Older women, and yes, I now count myself among them, came along behind these vibrant and energetic young women to encourage and support their efforts. One of the senior ladies Sunday School classes baked at least fifty loaves of breakfast bread to serve this morning with coffee. As one, three very different generations of women worked together for God’s glory and to build His Kingdom. The servant hearted men of our church set up tables, moved coolers, packaged food and patrolled parking lots. What a blessing on Friday night to come out of church and be escorted to our cars by the shining beams of their flashlights. Our church has been through some tough times lately. When we forget who is the Head of our church, pain and strife follow. This weekend was a reminder of the things that are most important and proof of the healing and the love that can be restored among even very different people who submit as one under God.