FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
UNITY AND PEACE
July 19, 2015
Today’s reading: Ephesians 2:13-18
What is crucial in a Christian community, for it to accomplish its mission, is unity and peace. A house divided against itself will not stand. A house full of strife will be sapped of its strength and determination.
How can we have unity and peace? Basically, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Oftentimes we look at each other and find faults. So we look to Jesus, who is without fault, and who died for our faults and sins. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ.” (v.13). Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is what has brought us together. We should never put that sacrifice for naught by conflicts, disunity and division.
It is sad that the greatest conflicts happen in Christian communities, where great conflicts among brethren and co-workers happen because of what they are supposed to be doing for God. Is that not the greatest irony? How come brethren in one family that is the community are not united nor at peace with each other? Because they have lost their focus, insisting on finding fault with each other rather than looking to the one who is without fault. “For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh” (v.14).
How can one be two or more? If there is one body, then there should be one vision, one mission, one culture, one way forward, one way of resolving difficulties and disagreements. Jesus’ work is to “create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace” (v.15b). If Christ is at the center, if we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, if we are obedient and docile to Christ’s Spirit, then we will be united and at peace.
Aside from looking at Jesus, we look to his cross. We realize that the authentic Christian life will include challenges, suffering and pain. That there will be difficulties with even brethren. But the key is to be able to die to self, to be merciful and forgiving, to love one’s supposed enemy. Such is the key to reconciliation and unity, as Jesus looks to “reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it.” (v.16).
We are called to bring Christ’s peace to the world. We are peacemakers, but it starts with peace in our own community. In or out of the community, in our life together and in our mission together, we look to peace. “He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near” (v.17).
In peace and unity, we become truly a people for whom the Trinitarian God is alive and present, “for through (Jesus) we both have access to one Spirit to the Father.” (v.18).
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