Today’s Scripture: I Corinthians 1:10-13
10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”
13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!
“Let there be no divisions in the church.” I’ve always struggled with this verse – because I’ve never seen this verse fully lived out. How can it be? Is there seriously a church on the planet that is filled with more than three people where there is no division? I guess there may be churches that are led by authoritarian pastors that look like there is no division – because it’s covered up. But the fact is when humans get together for any period of time there is going to be division.
The real issue – and I think the one that Paul is getting at here – is how we deal with division. I’ve not been at Westwood long but I can tell that we are a church that handles division very well – especially compared with other churches I’ve been in. We should celebrate that!
But what about the larger “church”? What about divisions that exist within the body of Christ as a whole? Well, that is a different issue. We’ve not done so well on that front. For example, just look at how many kinds of Baptists there are! And right now in the US we are seeing some serious division in the wider church: divisions based on political preference, divisions based on the role of the church and state, divisions concerning authoritarianism and nationalism, divisions about marriage, divisions about race and supremacy. And that list could go on! It’s enough to make you want to not call yourself Christian at all.
But I’m still calling myself Christian. And I think that’s where the answer to division lies. Not in a name – but in a person. As Paul said, Christ as not been divided into factions. It’s Christ that will unify. Always has been – and always will be.
So when I find myself angry and frustrated with other Christians’ actions or words – I will try and look for Christ. Yes, in some cases this will be very hard. In fact it may be impossible – especially when the Christ they claim to follow is unrecognizable to me. But I will try.
What can we do this week to find a common ground? What can we do to bring unity instead of division? The answer starts with seeking Christ alone.
God help us to be unifiers in this world. Help us to promote peace and reconciliation. Help us to be the ones who start the process of healing.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Day 11 pp. 125-135 1 Cor 1:1-6:20
Day 12 pp. 135-148 1 Cor 7:1-16:24
Day 13 pp. 149-164 2 Cor 1:1-13:14
Day 14 pp. 165-175 Gal 1:1-6:18
Day 15 pp. 177-190 Rom 1:1-8:30