26 Praise God in the great congregation;
praise the LORD in the assembly of Israel.
1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore. (Psalm 133:1-3)
Thoughts: What unites churches, presbyteries and general assemblies is a focus on the same God and trust that each other are worshiping that God, singing to that same God, praying to that same God in united voices, listening for God in the same word of God. This will be done in Minneapolis. This should be the goal for our churches, our presbyteries, and our General Assembly.
Another thing that unites us is mission and witness. As we seek to unite to do God's work, there is unity. But we must be able to define witness as physical (helping the poor and needy), social (helping the oppressed), mental (helping with education and the mentally ill), and not to be left out- spiritual (helping others to know and love our God).
Another, less compelling thing that unites us is nurture- the need to have fellowship (not being alone or isolated) and grow together in knowledge and love (despite and through our differences).
What does not unite us are structures, organizations, and forms. Without love for God (illustrated in worship) and love for neighbor (illustrated in mission), the organization is a house of cards- a whitewashed rotten-wooded wall. The more we are united in worship and mission and felowship the more the institutional structures will come. Perhaps it is the three N's- our need, our neighbor, and our nurture.
Prayer: Come, Lord, guide us and unite us by your Holy Spirit. Help us to find our direction and unity in you. Unite us in our need and in our service.
(Prayer together at a GOoDWorks mission function)