January 18, 2021
The Presbyterian constitution directs believers “to manifest more visibly the unity of the body of Christ” (G-5.0101). Our daily reading from Ephesians suggests the way of Christian unity is made by speaking truth with love in a way that grows the body of Christ. Sunday’s readings included Paul’s writing to the church in Corinth where Paul is constantly challenging natural divisions with a greater goal of being the Body of Christ.
Paul recognized that division is a cancer, a deadly disease, that when allowed to spread wreaks havoc and destruction among the people of God. Paul makes one thing clear: Although we may be blessed and gifted in different ways, we share a common source. He wants the Corinthian church to understand the main point: God blesses us in a variety of ways not for ourselves and our glory but for the common good of the church.
There is equality in the kingdom of God. Regardless of the labels, categories and hierarchies outside of the church, within the church, we are all one body. It is this “oneness” that provides a space for difference. Paul points out that we are all different; not one member of the body has superiority or can claim that another member is less or more vital. This is the hope of our faith that, as we continue to appreciate the differences of others, we embrace our own differences. When we can embrace our differences, we can make a more joyful noise, a greater impact for the kingdom, and contribute more fully as our best selves. The work of Christian unity affirms that it is not our similarities, but our differences that make us vital in God’s economy!
Rev. Denise Anderson; Coordinator of Racial and Intercultural Justice; Compassion, Peace & Justice; Presbyterian Mission Agency
On behalf of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations:
The Rev. Mary Newbern-Williams, Calvin Presbyterian Church, Norfolk, Virginia
The Rev. Dr. Amariah McIntosh, Phillips Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Toledo, Ohio
The Rev. Brian R. Paulson, First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville, Illinois
Today’s Focus: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Loving God, you are the uniting force in a diverse world. Enrich us so that we model the value of being diverse people united by your Spirit. In Christ we pray. Amen.