United We Stand

I have been blessed in many ways throughout my life, but one such way that I’m continuously grateful and in constant need of is my brother and sisters that I’ve come to find through my church.

Recently, during our weekly meeting, we discussed unity and the importance of having a community to come to and to be encouraged and held accountable through them.  I can look at my fellow brothers and sisters and I can just feel the familial unity we all share.  I know that if I ever needed to, I could call any one of them and they’d answer.  We are so ready to serve one another and be there for each other, it’s a palpable atmosphere the moment you walk into the door.  It’s being so completely enveloped in love and humility, that it stays with you like the smell of coffee does after sitting in a cafe for an hour or two.

Of course, this could be just me.  But I revel in it and I look forward to it.  It’s a unity I crave.  A unity that I need to survive every week.

When reading Philippians 2, I came to the conclusion that just how Paul was with Timothy and Epaphroditus, that’s exactly how my group is.  We are constantly striving to be Christ points, with our service and support to one another.  But there’s a flip side to this coin: we are united because of Christ.  Without Christ, we would have never met, and without the love of Christ, we would never know the meaning of humility and service.  We would never know the meaning of sacrifice.

In my bible, there was a footnote that struck me and I want to share it with anyone that may read this: Many people –even Christians– live only to make good impression on others or to please themselves.  But selfishness brings discord.  Paul therefore stressed spiritual unity, asking the Philippians to love one another and to be one in spirit and purpose.  When we work together, caring for the problems of others as if they were our problems, we demonstrate Christ’s example of putting others first, and we experience unity.  Don’t be so concerned about making a good impression or meeting your own needs that you strain relationships in God’s family.

We are Christians after all, and that means we are called to live like Christ.  Christ was a servant for God, through and through.  Everything He did was in service to the Lord.  He never once thought of Himself or what He wanted or what He deserved.  He only thought of how to serve His Father.

Even Paul says: This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

Christ died for all of us.  How much is to ask that we just serve one another out of love and unity, as Christ did?  When putting it into such a simple but profound perspective, it’s not hard to accept it.

And as if that isn’t enough, Jesus prayed this on our behalf: I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

He died so that we could experience unity with our Father, just as He had.  It is a blessing that we are able to have a relationship with God through Jesus, just as it’s a blessing for me to have the church family that I do.

This is a praiseworthy post, because God is amazing and awesome.  All the things He has done for us have always and forever will be for our betterment.  Adoration and glory forever to the Father.  Amen!

Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
Almighty God, who has given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you and promised that when two or three are gathered together in your name you will grant their requests: fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of your servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.

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