What to Do While Waiting for World Unity
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-15:11
My selection: I Corinthians 12:12-14
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
My reflections: In this first letter of Paul to the Corinthians, he addresses the problems of divisions in the church. Here he shows that there is diversity and unity in the body. The diversity allows for each member to make a unique contribution and for there to be a colorful variety within the body. The unity promotes acceptance of one another, even though we differ in race, culture, and socioeconomic status. That unity is based on the spiritual connection which all who are in Christ have. God’s Spirit makes all believers one.
In the world, there is a push to obliterate distinctions, to bring all cultures together in some kind of unity, political (United Nations, communism, benevolent dictatorships) or cultural and religious (Islamic fundamentalism, ecological causes). All of these efforts are done without the gospel and the Triune God of the Bible, so they will not succeed. But the idea of universal harmony and peace is not contrary to God’s ultimate purpose for His people. The problem is partly the goal (unity for Man’s benefit not God’s glory) and also the means (human methods without dependence on God).
My challenge: Are you discouraged with the on-going strife between nations and within our nation between political and cultural ideologies? Have you placed more hope in secular forces than in the gospel to bring about true unity and peace? Remember Paul’s words to the Philippians:
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
When that day comes, there will be unity around the worship of Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, keep shining as lights in the world (Philippians 2:14-16).
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-2 Corinthians 1:11