One of the meta-narratives that I follow through Scripture is the message of unity. When reading Scripture, God is constant in His pursuit of a bride that is spotless and blameless, one that is whole. The theme of unity filters through every aspect of Scripture, from the belief that it is a unified message of the call for one church. Traveling the country, I have been blessed to observe Christians uniting in the singular cause of sharing the love of Christ by partaking in God’s redemptive purpose. It is so simple- God is one, so why can’t His bride be? Jesus did not come into the world so man could subjugate, abuse and enslave each other, but to unite all. Every person from every nationality has equal standing in the sight of God and subsequently, the church.
“I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one—I in them and you in me—that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23)
Unite Boston is a ministry that is at the forefront of bringing the church together. After Sunday service at Christ the King Church, we joined them for an afternoon picnic at Jamaica Pond. Believers from different denominations and traditions enjoyed a beautiful afternoon together handing out water and food to passerby. Observing what was taking place, I thought, “This is it. The body of Christ coming together despite denomination, ethnicity, or background.”
As people continue to divide themselves, the church has the opportunity to be the voice of unity and reason in an age of division and anger. The early church did not seek to change the structures of men, it made them irrelevant. The early church informed the culture around them; the American church has let itself become informed by society. However, in recent decades the church has been pushing down historical barriers of denominational traditions that has kept it separated. Christ the King Church planted themselves strategically in Boston to bridge the gap socioeconomically, culturally, racially, and ethnically. They are taking intentional steps to engage their local community and partner with organizations like Unite Boston.
It is necessary that the church takes seriously the importance of unity because a fractured church comes about when we bow to God, but the knee never touches the ground. This does not have to be so. If anything, my traveling has taught me God is active and the church is uniting to become the reflection of His body, which already exists in oneness.