Several weeks ago I wrote about the need for unity in the church during this time of pastoral transition. What I forgot to mention was how we achieve unity. In Ephesians 4:3 Paul says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
We can never be united if we quarrel, hold grudges, deep seated resentments, and bitterness. No, we need to recognize that we are called to understand one another, to bear with one another in love, to pray for one another, to forgive one another, and to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. That’s how we maintain the unity of the Spirit.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Think about that for a moment. Peacemaking is a divine work. Peace involves reconciliation and that’s what God does. When we make peace, when we bring people together, we are doing what our Heavenly Father has done, loving people with His love.
Unfortunately, peace and unity aren’t always possible. Paul said as much in Romans 12:18. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Sometimes people can’t be reconciled. Sometimes people leave the fellowship in their anger and hurt. We must make sure that we are ready and willing to make peace no matter what the other person may do.
I believe that Community Church needs to make peace with itself. I’ve heard troubling reports about gossip and dissention within the body. That should never be. Nothing should be said in private about the Search Committee that would not be said to their faces. No one should cling so tightly to their own opinions that they wouldn’t at least consider those of another. Everything that’s said should be to build up and edify. And finally we should ask the Prince of Peace to flood our lives and our church with the peace that passes all understanding as we move together into the days to come.
May we be united in peace,