February 19 – Unity in Love

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19 – Unity in Love

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:  I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:22-26).

We have differing ideas of what unity looks like.  It doesn't mean that we all become homogenized in our belief structures or that we choose one denomination over another and it doesn't mean that everyone is going to agree.

There has been too much diversity in interpretation in our understanding of both the Old and New Testaments and many disagree, with very good intentions on both sides, about points of doctrine which come out of our Scripture.  We are God’s creation made with minds that seek to understand and our understanding comes from what we know and how we have lived.

Homogenization is not unity.  The Trinity is not homogenized, it is unified.  God is different and yet is wholly singular.  God is love.

What brings unity is love.  If you look at Paul’s discourse on love in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, you get a beautiful idea of what love is.  It is patient, kind, it does not envy or boast and is not rude, self-seeking or easily angered. Love doesn't keep a record of wrongs or delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. Love protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.  Love never fails.

(Side note: all I can think of right now is the wedding ceremony from “The Princess Bride).

Love is what brings unity to a diverse group of people.  Differing beliefs, differing ways to look at doctrine, different understandings and interpretations of scripture … all become part of the glorious, variegated, intricate image of the Church because of love.

We become one with each other through love.