Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The apologetic of unity

Community pastors onstage - Good Friday service, 2017

A shot of the crowd disbursing - Good Friday 2017

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 2:40-47

TO CHEW ON: “Now all who believed were together…” Acts 2:44a

I am writing this the day after Good Friday. It’s a tradition in our community for all the churches to meet on Good Friday in a joint service. We attended our town’s joint service yesterday morning.

At least three of the officiating pastors mentioned what a joy it was to see the church community gathered in one place. Two young pastors, who grew up here, mentioned remembering these services from when they were kids. One said, “I recall feeling happy that the Christians could get along and met together like this.”

There is Someone else who is happy when believers get along. In fact, Jesus prayed for not only His disciples at the time but for us years-later disciples in this regard:
'Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me that they may be one as We are … I… pray for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me'” - John 17:11,20,21.

The word used to describe how they got along (“fellowship” - Acts 2:42) is the Greek word koinonia. It means “…sharing, unity, close association, partnership… koinonia is unity bought about by the Holy Spirit” - Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1494.

Our Christian unity is one part of the apologetic that convinces the world that Jesus really is God’s Son. Here in Acts it caused “fear” to come upon every soul (Acts 2:41). In Jesus’ prayer, unity of believers would make possible‘…that the world may believe that You sent Me’” - John 17:21.

I ask myself, do I, and do we, work for Christian unity, or do we rather focus on differences, make comparisons, and act like we’re in competition? I know how as a parent I really want my children to get along with each other. I’m sure God also feels that way about His.

Let’s be challenged and encouraged by the Christians in Acts to be a positive testimony and a convincing apologetic for the truth of Jesus and His teachings by working for Christian unity in our small corners of the 21st century world.

PRAYER: Dear Father, I love my local church and believe You have put me there. But help me also to love and support, with word and actions, all Christians and their churches in my town. Amen. 

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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