“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”Ephesians 4:3 NIV
While writing to a church divided along racial lines (Jew & Gentile), Paul could have easily counseled the Christians to get along on a surface level, but worship separately since their customs and world views were just too different.
But Paul didn’t do that.
Instead, he reminds them of where their source of unity comes from instead. Their unity isn’t found in their ethnicity, or identical worship styles, or political views, or socioeconomic status. Their unity comes through their shared faith. Paul goes on to remind us that even though we are very different in some ways, we are ultimately the same in what God has done for us.
“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 4:4-6 NIV
Just because we may be from different places doesn’t mean our baptism was different. Just because we may not look the same doesn’t mean we serve a different Lord. Just because we vote differently doesn’t mean we have a different hope.
Because we place God first and above all, we share all of this in common. And it is here in our undivided commonality of faith that we find our unity.
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Help us remember that our baptism was an act of surrender, and allegiance to you alone. Help us listen to the unifying voice and guidance of the Spirit every day, for when we all listen to you, we will be one. Help us love one another, and truly be your children by showing the world your peace. Through the name and power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.