” And all who believed came together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. And day by day attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
I’ve already mentioned that unity doesn’t happen in a day; it’s a process. The early Christians worshipped, ate and praised God together. They shared one another’s lives. They cared about each other. They were willing to make sacrifices for the congregation. This made their fellowship so attractive to others that they wanted to be a part of it.
You may join a congregation by coming to church on Sunday and/or standing up front and professing your desire to be a member. However, true unity comes from day-to-day working and serving together, having fun together, sharing stories and lives. It comes from seeing children grow up and older people die. It comes from being willing to contribute your time, talent and yes, even money to support and nurture the group. It means sticking in there to resolve problems and disagreements, instead of walking away.
Of course, these days it’s rare to belong to the same church for your whole life. There are times when we must change because we move. There may be times when we are called to leave our congregation to serve elsewhere. Maybe there are even times when our doctrinal positions become so far apart that leaving is the only option. When this happens, though, I believe we should join into our new church home with vigor and commitment. We can’t achieve unity without doing our part.
“…and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
I would like to hear from our readers and other authors. Do you feel unity with your congregation? What had led to that unity for you?