The theme for the gospel this week is, prophetically, A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND.

christian unity clipart 2The wisdom is common and sensible do not you think?  If a family, a country, a company, a Church...any group of people who are together seeking to accomplish something, cannot maintain unity that group will never last long.  Unity of the body of Christ is essential to the mission of the Gospel.  A fractured body cannot heal and feed and liberate others.  A fractured body is unable even to care for itself.

Where is there fracture in your most important relationships these days?

What are you doing to heal that fracture?

What are you doing to deepen it?

In this week's gospel text, when Jesus is told that His mother and brothers and sisters are outside waiting for Him, he responds "Who is my mother and brothers and sisters?" which always seemed heartless to me but after many weeks of witnessing division among people I have grown to care for, in an organization I have grown to hope for I get it more and more "... Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” says Jesus.

I have observed that the funny thing about the }Will of God” and divided houses is that inevitably each side is certain that they are the ones with the bead on the Will of God and the other side is in error.

Now I will not claim to know the “Will of God”, I think that would be ridiculous but I have studied some and I have laboured at fulfilling it so maybe I could share some things that point at least to the Will of God and then I will let you take it from there:

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  (Col. 3: 12-13)

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others  (Philippians 2:3)

I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, -2- with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, -3- making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  -4- There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, -5- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, -6- one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)

-12- For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.  -1-3- For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.  -14- Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.  -15- If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  -16- And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  -17- If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? -18- But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  -19- If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body.  -21- The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have- n-o need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” -22- On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, -23- and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; -24- whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, -25- that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.  -26- If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.  -27- Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.  (1 Cor. 12:12-27)