There is nothing that destroys school spirit more than disunity, when there is no unifying force like a well loved sports team or a beloved principal. There is nothing that destroys the strength of an army more than division in the ranks, when there is no unifying leader or, for that matter, enemy. There is nothing that destroys the beauty of a family more than shattered unity, when there is something that divides the mom and dad. Unity is a powerful thing, beautiful in its effectiveness. Yet unity's beauty is as delicate as a flower, easy to crush.
That is the state of unity in the world but it should look much different in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We have a much loved King we share in common. We have a common enemy we fight against. Our list of things in common is long and our differences short. We are members of the same family with an awesome Father involved in our daily living. We share the same Spirit. We just don't see the importance of unity and don't understand the glory we are robbing from Jesus by our disunity.
Do you remember this prayer from Jesus?
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:20-23)
We hear about so many other things that Jesus taught but on this prayer of unity we hear very little. It is our King's prayer that you and I would be one, united together so that in our unity this lost and rebellious world would see Jesus and understand his love. It is hard to preach this message of love when we can't manage to love each other.
Most people don't even understand the church doctrines they defend against other believers. We defend them because it is the church we were born in. These walls need to come down and the Church needs to rise up so we can be effective in our purpose. Apostle Paul told us what unites us:
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
Paul makes it very simple, giving us a list of the doctrines that keep us united under Jesus. There is one body (Church), one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Father. That's it. Plain and simple. This is what you and I have in common, the reason we can worship and serve side by side and why our hearts should be filled with love for one another.
It should be enough that our King's desire is for us to be united, to be one as he and the Father are one. Just that alone should give us the desire to set aside any differences and be united. Our purpose is to bring glory to God, to allow his glory to be seen in us. He said to love him and love others; be united with him and united with others; be one with him and one with each other.
So, let us love one another as Jesus has loved us (with great sacrifice) and allow the world to see Jesus.