Faith’s family is made up of individuals from over 50 nations trying to worship, fellowship, serve, pray and give generously together for the glory of God.
C.S. Lewis, British author and apologist, argues that this life is a preparation for the life to come and that we should be preparing for the great sense of unity that is coming when every tribe and tongue and nation melds as one around the throne of Jesus.
Richard Neuhaus says “God is one, and all who are God’s are one. The church is a communal articulation of that truth.”
At Faith, we would love to see this played out in our life together.
I see a shadow of the great reality when our summer camp staff come together with volunteers to reach the children in our community. That means individuals from India, Niger, Korea, China, Philippines, Congo, Iran and even Canada are working together.
I see a shadow of the great reality in our New Hope childcare where staff from Guatamala, El Salvador, Fiji, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Korea, China, Taiwan and Canada work together to nurture and encourage children and families in our neighbourhood.
I see a shadow of the great reality when musicians and artists from many different countries gathered with volunteers to host our Canada Day event for the community where over 300 people joined with us in celebrating the country where we all have freedom to experience and explore our unity.
I see a shadow of the great reality when I look through our photo directory and see believers who have come from the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Denmark, Burundi, Honduras, China, St. Vincents, Mexico, Taiwan, Peru, India, Nigeria, India, Brazil and many other countries worshipping together as one body.
In a recent message from Philippians, it was clear that the key to unity came in valuing each other, in dealing with the barriers between us and in actually doing work together.
Through the years, we have done much together as God sent us opportunity and people who were gifted. More than any specific work we strive to do we want to preserve our unity as we move forward.
Charles Colson, in his book, Being the Body (p. 76), says “Non-christians aren’t looking so much at our tracts and rallies and telecasts and books as they are looking at us and how we behave. When they fail to see the unity of Jesus’ followers – the church – they fail to see the validation that Christ is indeed the Son of the living God.”
Colson says that our unity as the body of Christ “validates our faith and enables us to influence the skeptical world around us.” He reminds us that unity doesn’t mean ignoring the differences between us and others but in respecting those differences and in embracing the great orthodox truths we all share.
Kneeling before the throne of God on behalf of the world around us is the great equalizer where we all find ourselves desperately dependent on the God of grace and mercy. Regardless of how long you have walked this road toward unity, know that you are loved more than you can imagine. May God grant us his grace as we walk together.