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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ephesians 4.4-6

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Unity is seriously important. Just in case we haven't got the message yet. What does that mean for how we pray for one another? There is only one universal body of believers: one holy, catholic, apostolic church. Our suffering brothers and sisters across the globe are members of the body that binds us all, tabernacles of the same spirit. The same mind-binding hope unites us. That hope, to become his precious inheritance and live with him forever, is the same for the Christians in Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Korea, South Sudan, Ukraine, Russia. Oh that these brethren of ours would know hope afresh today. Let's pray for them today. Let's pray that God would allow us to share in their wounds and know their sorrow. 1 Corinthians 12.26.

And what of those closer to home? Our own communities? I imagine Paul's tone here to be the same emphatic insistence as when he pleads with Euodia and Syntyche. Philippians 4.2. Agree in the Lord! Stop squabbling! And yet, the Lord isn't always known when there is disagreement. Often, I long to yell at the top of my voice, a loan shout amidst age old family feuds and new fangled social media debates, "You are missing the point! God loves each of you. Equally. You don't need to live like this. You don't need to cling to your grudges out of fear of forgiveness being confused with weakness." How to speak such words? How to have the courage to be a wilderness voice? But I can pray. I can pray to the God who is over all and through all and in all. I can ask the one who fills the whole universe to take his place here, to be the centre. I can pray for my own life, that Jesus would be the centre in such a shocking and stunning way that the world would know there's an alternative to waging war. From my heart to the heavens, Jesus be the centre.

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