Baby Steps Towards Unity
I am delighted by all the discussion of unity lately (that is much better than silence). I do not believe unity is unattainable simply because I happen to believe that all Christians are ALREADY unified in Christ Jesus. Our problem is trying to divide what God by his grace has brought together. Here are a few "baby steps," if you will, toward maintaining what God has created:
1) Our congregational prayers should include regular prayers for the unity of the local church, as well as the church universal;
2) Emphasis should be placed in demonstrating that the Communion is in fact a "sacrament of unity" -- unity with God and unity with each other. These two simple things can heighten our awareness of the importance of unity in God's plan;
3) Unity can be stressed by promoting " gospel meetings" (etc) of congregations that you may or may not particularly like or agree with; cross the divide and support your brothers and sisters even if we do not agree on a laundry list of issues;
4) Shepherds and ministers can model a "spirit of unity" among the flock by their gentleness and Christlike spirit on so called controversial subjects and persons and;
5) finally have a Sunday class or Wednesday on a book such as Leonard Allen's Distant Voices. I think even the recent work of John Mark Hicks and myself could help us with a godly vision, Kingdom Come. There are some outstanding recent works that can help promote healing and dialogue. I think of Jack Reese' The Body Broken and Rick Actchley and Bob Russell's Coming Together. A little unifying history in our blood may do us some good.
These are "baby steps" but I do believe they can be of help.
Ut omnes unum sint (John 17.21, Vulgate, "that they may all be one")