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 4:3-6
This scripture from Ephesians 4 is one we frequently use to describe how the Bridgehaven team is inspired to work together. It has quickly become one of my favorites. Not because we do it well 100% of the time, but because when our little community becomes one in the Lord there is the hope of peace.
I am so grateful that our Lord intends us to live in community with one another. He doesn’t intend for his children to live in isolation from each other. So many people feel alone, or that they don’t belong. We’ve all experienced times of our lives that we think no one will understand or no one will accept us. That is a lie. Jesus says, ‘You do belong. Keep coming. Keep coming.’ The truth is, God already knows your brokenness and loves you anyway.
He created us to be unique and different from one another. To live in harmony, complementing the God-given gifts that he’s blessed us with. Ok…so that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But is that what’s happening? Most days, as I look out into the world I see a vast divide. I see people using their God-given gifts in self-righteous and hurtful ways. We are quick to condemn those that don’t respond, act, think or share the same views as we do. Satan is playing with our egos like I’ve never seen before and it’s heartbreaking.
Unity is a part of community. All of us have a community of people we know and love. So how do we turn that community into unity? How do we love bigger, forgive more, remove our own agendas and grow closer to the Lord?
‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Micah 6:8
Hard stuff. I know, but isn’t it worth it to live in God’s peace? Our internal thoughts and our inability to love is, in many ways, the cause of the divide in our community. I think that if we followed Micah 6:8 more often we would see more people doing the right thing, no matter how difficult it might be. We’d see people’s hearts breaking and bleeding for one another, especially those that have wronged us. And we’d see a removal of self, we’d move through life with no expectation of return.
Today my prayer for my community, all those I know and love (including you) is 1 Corinthians 12:25-27:
‘That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.’