As I look back on Easter and remember the amazing gift of salvation, I am reminded not only of how Jesus came and defeated sin and death but to provide unity through the grace offered in His death and resurrection. In today’s world, the spirit of unity is definitely lacking and most would expect that in a fallen and broken world. Although, the place where you should find unity the most, often times is where the least is found, in the church. Martin Luther King said it decades ago and it is still true today, “The most segregated time during the week is on Sunday morning at 11 am”. This is not just among race, even though this is still a big issue, it is also found in people’s preferences, whether it’s for a specific group of people or style.
I am excited and filled with joy when I see Christians from all backgrounds unified under the celebration of Easter, but also saddened that this is one of the only times you see unity within the Christian faith. A lot of the times churches are not only segregated in race, but doctrine and preference. Every Christian knows the cornerstone of the faith is through and only through Jesus Christ, but we have allowed our race, biases, and preferences of method and delivery to destroy the unity that is found in the Christian faith. Paul reminds Ephesus about this in Ephesians 4:1-7,
"I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift."
The phrase that sticks out to me is when Paul writes, “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit”, we as a church must return to this Spirit and fight back the efforts of the enemy to divide God’s people. We must be a church that strives to look like heaven and stop dividing in the name of reaching more people, instead combine our efforts and strive to unify the church once again.
Unity is one of my passions starting Paradigm Church. Killeen is one of the most diverse and unique cities, but we have divided it in the name of evangelism. My goal is that we become the paradigm of what it means to be a unified body of believers. Everybody has their differences in opinion and style, but one thing remains true and that is Jesus Christ and the salvation offered through His life, death, and resurrection, and it is our calling, yes our calling to unify and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.