Brothers and Sisters,
I first began writing this letter for 2/2/22 on a Tuesday. What does that have to do with anything? Nothing, but it seemed like something that needed to be said.
This past Sunday, we learned from Phil 2:1-11 that God calls us to embody unity by humbly tending to others’ interests—a way of life patterned after Jesus’ journey to and through the cross (cruciformity).
Our unity enables us to strive together for the Gospel, even in the face of intimidation (cf. Phil 1:27-28). Unity may very well be one of the more compelling gifts we have to offer our neighbors in this polarized and polarizing age.
As Jesus said, the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35). This bond-of-love does not make us all the same. Rather, it compels us to grow in relationship with one another even despite our differences. While so many of our neighbors divide themselves off into neat political and ideological enclaves, the church is the place where we set all that stuff aside as the Spirit gathers us into one body—the body of Christ.
This week, I want to encourage you all to put that unity into practice:
- Invite someone from church out to lunch or dinner.
- Shoot your brother or sister an encouraging text. Better, write them a note.
- Meet up and go for a walk.
- Deliver a batch of cookies (but not to me; I’m on a diet).
- Pray intentionally for a handful of people and then let them know you did.
Unity doesn’t just happen on Sunday mornings. It is both a gift of God’s grace and a habit to be cultivated through what I described on Sunday morning as the messy work of living in community. When we dig in and get our hearts dirty, God knits us together by His grace and gives our neighbors a window into the fellowship they were designed to crave.
I pray you’ll all get messy this week. The Lord is at work in our midst—binding us together and bringing others closer to the fold. I’m so thankful to partner with you all for the advance of the Gospel in Mount Juliet. Let’s stand firm and strive together.
In Christ Alone, Kenny