United as One Body
A house divided cannot stand. We've heard this phrase repeated over and over because it's true. Think about if you have a broken leg. You hobble around, using crutches for days, trying to get back to normal routine. Then, you start limping without the crutches, still not quite back to normal. Even when you are walking mostly normal again, you still have that experience in your mind, what it was like to be broken, to be a pice of a whole. Think about the church of God. If we are pinned against one another in an argument, say the issues in politics, then we are separating ourselves from being the one true body that can bring God's love to the world.
Today's Gospel states:'"I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law"'(Luke 12:49-53).
In today's reading we hear how Jesus comes to bring peace, but in a unique way, through division. He comes to help us unite, to be filled with the Spirit and use that to help stand out, to make a difference. I remember when I wanted to start my blog page. I needed to take a stand, to encourage some difference in the world. In the same way, Jesus calls us to stand out, resulting in good and even difficult conversations. However, peace can only come through taking a stand. Take some time to ask God to help fill you with the Holy Spirit in order to bring unity in His church.
Today's prayer comes from 'knowing Jesus' a prayer for Unity in the Church:
Loving heavenly Father we thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to be with us, to live in us and to guide us into the way of peace and truth. We pray You would grant all those that are Your children, the spirit of wisdom and unity, so that we may be one, even as You are one with our Lord Jesus Christ – and He with You. Enable all those that are part of the true Church – the body of Christ, to walk worthy of the calling whereby we have been called - and to live and work together in love and unity. Use us individually and collectively to reflect the love of God…the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ - so that we may be fruitful branches, and bear much fruit to the glory of God and to the praise of His holy name Teach us how to live together in unity and fellowship with one another, and lead us into the paths of peace and righteousness - so that we may be well pleasing in Your sight. Teach us how to love one another as Christ loved us and keep us from doing anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but rather teach us humility of heart, so that we consider others before ourselves – and help us to be slow to anger and quick to forgive as we abide in You and You in us – this we ask in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen