I am blessed to live in the best neighborhood in the world with some of the best neighbors anyone could ask for. The kids play together roaming the woods, riding bikes, going from house to house for the best snacks. We watch out for our new drivers, celebrate baptisms, first communions, and graduations, and share together in the sorrow of the death of family members and even family pets. On snowy days, I can count on two neighbors to be plowing driveways and sidewalks, while others provide sleds for the kids. We really do bring out the best in one another. We are a community, albeit small, in the truest sense.
The Church is meant to be the same, even better. In fact, we are called to be a community of believers, regardless of what brand name or denomination we wear. Each believer, like my neighbors, brings something unique to the table. No, we are not the same and yes, there may be things we disagree about. However, Jesus has not only called us to be one in spirit, He prayed for us to be one in spirit.
My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe you have sent me. John 17: 20-21
Friends, the neighbors are watching. The world needs to see the Church fulfilling the prayer of Jesus in order that He will be known. Millions of believers have gone before us and millions will come after us. What type of legacy will we leave? Will they see believers united as one, demonstrating the love of Christ to one another and to a world that so desperately needs it? What are you willing to do today to be the answer to Jesus’ prayer?
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You are unique and you bring gifts and talents to your church that no one else can. How are you fulfilling your calling to bring unity to the Church? What will you do today to demonstrate Christ’s love to others?
John 17:20-26; John 13:34-35
Leslie Snyder is a youth and family ministry veteran currently serving in the Kansas City area with her husband and three kids
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