As A People Knit Together By The Spirit
Unity. It’s the glue. It’s the mysterious “something” which holds a group together. It’s the sense of common purpose, shared goals, a common story which makes us all one in spite of our differences. Often times we take unity for granted. But when it’s missing, everyone knows it by its absence.
There are a number of cheap substitutes for unity—things we try because unity is sometimes difficult to achieve. Among these cheap substitutes are:
Tolerance, which says, “Whatever each of us does is all right—you do your thing, and I’ll do mine, and we won’t say anything about each others’ actions.”
Uniformity, which insists everyone think alike, look alike, act alike, and feel alike. Uniformity often creates an outward unity, which easily masks inward disagreement and resentment.
Division, which suggests we throw out anyone who disagrees or doesn’t conform, or make them so uncomfortable they either leave or shut up.
There are many passages in the Bible about unity. One such example can be found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, in which Paul uses the analogy of the human body. We are different, and we will inevitably have different perceptions, roles, and understandings, and yet we need one another (1 Corinthians 12:4-26). Unity begins with the fundamental understanding that we belong to one another, and we cannot deny each other.
Quakers believe God knows what is truly right. And we believe God is willing to lead us. Unity means that, if we are faithful, if we are honest, and if we refuse to deny each other, God can lead us together.
Query for Reflection
Am I working for the unity of Friends as part of the body of Christ? Am I doing anything to drive Friends apart?
Plan and create an opportunity to meet people who aren’t like you. Worship together, study together, have a meal together, and commit to pray for one another.
Lord, please help us all to be united in you, knit together by your Spirit, focused on your work, and bound together by your love.