Orginally posted at https://journeychattanooga.com/united-we-stand/
Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. Matthew 12:25 (ESV)
This week, 30 pastors and laypeople celebrated 4 weeks of intentional Bible study, prayer, and relationship building. That’s not unusual in the church.
What is unusual, is that this group of 30 people was made up of men and women; black, white, and Hispanic; Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, Seventh Day Adventist, Presbyterian, and Non-Denominational, all for the purpose of discussing race, reconciliation and coming together as the Body of Christ in unity. I was honored to be a part.
Jesus taught us that we are to be his united family and body, tasked with sharing His good news while demonstrating it’s power by our unity and love for one another, yet we allow so many things to separate us.
Our skin color…
Our variations of unimportant practices and beliefs…
All are ways we have missed the call to unity.
I believe that God is doing something in the hearts of believers all over our city, including church leaders and I could not be more excited! Imagine what could happen if our churches worked together, built relationships together, worshiped together, served together, prayed together, and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us, together.
How would we be changed?
How would our churches be changed?
How would God bless us and work through us?
The world is doing everything it can to separate us from each other.
We are encouraged to hate not love, separate not unite, judge not forgive, withdraw not engage.
But this is not the way of Jesus.
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:10–11 (ESV)
I am so encouraged by these past 4 weeks but only if they lead to something more.
I believe all of those that have commtitted to bridging these gaps are serious and in it for the long haul, too.
Would you pray with me as we seek to continue unity among us?
Would you pray with me as we grow closer to those that we have once avoided?
Would you pray with me as our churches join hands in all kinds of ways?
Would you pray with me as we seek to fulfill Jesus’s call for unity in the church all over our city?
I believe this is just the beginning of something amazing and God-sized among us and I am so thankful you are on this journey with us!
Pastor Mark Love
Journey Church, Chattanooga