May 17 - Unity Will Be Our Witness
For the past two months we’ve had to watch pre-recorded videos of Newstart’s church service from our homes. We’ve only seen our life groups and church friends through Zoom conferences. No worshipping together as a group, no hugs, no handshakes, not even a fist bump. Doesn’t it feel weird? Have you found yourself longing for community? You're not alone in that feeling. That’s how God designed us. Jesus called people into community so, now that we’re forced out of it, it’s like we’re missing a part of ourselves.
We are not made to hide away from the world. As Christians, our mission is to:
Bring glory to God. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “Whatever you do, no matter how significant or simplistic it seems, do it for the glory of God.”
Seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).
Make your goal to serve and not be served. In Mark 10, Jesus teaches the Disciples about serving. He acknowledges they were accustomed to power leaders, but Jesus called them to be serving leaders.
It's going to be challenging to figure out how we can serve others and grow in community with one another while adhering to social distancing guidelines, but we will find a way. Just one year ago Newstart merged with Highpoint Church and members of both churches had a lot of adapting to do. Many of us were nervous about the change, but through prayer and committing ourselves to God’s call for our lives, we were able to successfully unite, grow, and thrive. Now it’s time to do that again. Just like with the merger, there will be obstacles and bumps along the way, but by proceeding with an attitude of grace and letting Christ guide our steps, we won’t fail.
Ephesians 4:2-3 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Our unity doesn’t come from being able to sit shoulder-to-shoulder in church service. It comes from our common focus on Jesus and what His sacrifice meant for all of us. The Holy Spirit is the glue holding us together. That’s a bond a virus can’t ever dissolve. If we make our salvation the focus of our unity, Newstart will be a beacon of unity for our community.
This, then, is unity that matters. It’s not a unity that stands against truth. It’s not a unity for the sake of it. It’s not a unity of denial or a unity of institutionalism or a unity of collegial friendliness. It’s a unity that is based in truth, a unity firmly anchored in the Spirit’s work to bring the truth of the gospel to the world and to our lives. It’s not a unity we have to achieve, because God has already achieved it in Jesus Christ. But it is a unity we are to make every effort to maintain. And as we do so, that will involve taking on attitudes that can only come from the gospel of peace: humility and littleness, patience, and putting up with one another. All this comes directly from the love that God has shown us in Jesus Christ. – Lionel Windsor