I’m sitting with my son surrounded by strangers. I have very little in common with those around me apart from proximity and a hope that the Panthers win. There’s the loud woman behind me who had one too many before kickoff. There’s the guy down the row whose vocabulary seemed limited to profanity and “refs.” There’s the sharp-dressed business man in front of me who seemed to have stepped out of his corporate office to come to the game. Then, the running back catches a pass in the flat and goes 70+ yards for a touchdown. And unity erupts…
High fives all around. Conversation about the amazing play flows freely. A shared passion about something outside us suddenly united strangers. Our differences didn’t go away. Our unique preferences were not diminished. But, our shared passion about something outside ourselves created a moment…an ever-so-fleeting moment…of this sense that we were together…united.
“United” is a two week series where we explore the importance of the church living as a united body of gospel-saturated, mission-engaged, Christ-exalting believers united around a passion for a Person.
In Ephesians 4, Paul reminds us that passion must shape our lives as individuals and as a community. There is One Lord worthy of this attention, and our passion for Him unites us. But, we are not just united as a group of people passionate about Jesus. We each have a place in this body to serve, contribute—and when we do this, the body grows in maturity and in fruitfulness.
To be united, we must have a single, all-encompassing passion that’s big enough to unite us. Not something fleeting like a moment in a brief run to the playoffs, but something lasting into eternity.
A. W. Tozer wrote:
“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
May we be so tuned to the glory of our King that we are tuned to the good of one another.