So I’m sitting in my office at home trying to write about the unity of the Church. I’m moving from thought to thought getting more and more frustrated. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m suppose to even be doing this. I’m really struggling with trying to find words to express the passion that is in my heart for unity. The division of the Church has, in my mind, been so harmful to the Church and to the world. But I cannot seem to find the words to write.
Maybe this whole project is just a waste of time. Maybe I’ve tackled something that is just too big for me. Maybe I ought forget this whole thing. Maybe it just doesn’t matter. The Church has been so divided for so long, maybe it’s just the way it’s meant to be. Maybe this endeavor is unnecessary.
You’ve had that thought right? Wondering why you even started a project. I could sense my motivation slipping. The dog started barking which means someone is about to ring the doorbell. The fact that anyone would come to our door is interesting since we live in the country, tucked back in the woods. I sighed a sigh of relief, delivered from the torment of writing. I bounded up the stairs grateful for the interruption.
As soon as I opened the door he was handing me a brochure and took off on his speech about how they were going door to door to let the world know about Jesus. Before I could offer any response they were quoting the Bible.
I took a breath and explained that I was a Pastor. I praised their commitment and wished them a Happy Easter. Not to be deterred, the lady reached in her bag and pulled out her Bible. After reading several verses she asked me what I understood about the Kingdom and what I believed about Heaven. I again assured her that I knew Jesus and was grateful for their visit, but I really didn’t want to have this discussion. Unsatisfied with my unwillingness to debate (or in her words ‘reason’) she began to lecture me on how I really needed to listen.
I could feel my heart pick up a beat. Here on my front porch, as I’m confessing my faith in Christ, two strangers claiming to be believers in Jesus are questioning my faith! I could see her lips moving, but I wasn’t hearing a word she was saying. There was no kindness, only judgment. There was a whole other conversation going on inside.
I watched as her lips stopped moving. For a moment I actually wondered who had interrupted her. Then I realized I was talking. I hadn’t raised my voice, I was calm. I knew that I was not formulating this response.
Honestly, I don’t really know what I said. But I realized that all of the jumbled up thoughts that I had been trying to write for several days suddenly were coming out. I really wished I had recorded myself.
I thanked them again and wished them a Happy Easter. They slowly turned and headed down the steps. My heart was racing. What had just happened? I returned to my desk and sitting there I began to pray. I could not focus on the writing so I turned to the message that I had prepared for the Wednesday before Easter service that evening.
I read over the words that Christ said as he was on the cross. Fifty words that changed human history. In six hours the world would never be the same. I could feel the tears running down my face. I turned off the lights and went upstairs.
Several hours later I closed the service in prayer. It was a good evening. People were talking and laughing. I turned around and one of the teenagers had come into the sanctuary after the youth service.
She began to tell me that her Mom had passed away when she was twoand that she had not been raised by her Dad. Recently she began to wonder if her Mom knew Jesus and if she was in heaven. She was crying. She had reached out to her father because she was troubled about her Mom.
He told her that yes her Mom knew Jesus, but that the Church that she attended believed in multiple heavens so he didn’t know whether they would be in the same heaven or not. The young lady was truly shaken.
Twice in one day! Interupted …. these two events were marking my life. The division of the Church is deplorable. The confusion that is sown; the chaos that is created…the lives that are destroyed by division.
I began to console this child of God. Drawing upon everything I had, I assured this little one that Jesus loves her and her Mom. It was, well unbelievable. After an hour she seemed better. It will take time for there to be real peace in her heart.
The disunity of the Church is hurting the world. It is hurting children. It must be stopped. I don’t know if I can do any good, but I will continue to try.
Friday we will remember that Jesus died for the world. It is not that complicated. His death gives us life. Life that is shared by one and all who believe. Could we join in His prayer?
“…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 17:21)