Now more than ever, the heartbeat of our culture is characterized by divisiveness and disunity.
“One of the deepest problems of our heart, and I speak for myself here too, is how quickly we are willing to exclude somebody else from our story.”
Paul J. Pastor believes that this inner dialogue of recreating your story is the root of disunity.
“It’s looking at someone else and saying, you’re not part of my story, I have my story. You have yours.”
This process of separating our story from others gives way for an angry and fearful heart to grow.
“What I see is people dividing and turning away from each other and saying, I don’t share a story with you. And then because of that it is okay for me to be violent towards you, to dismiss you.”
Unfortunately, not even the church is immune to disunity. Throughout history those who claim to be the Church have been some of the worst perpetrators of disunity. However in the Holy Spirit there is unity.
“Jesus in His high priestly prayer towards the end of John, He looks towards the Father and He asks that we, His body, might be one as He and the Father are one. The very union of the Trinity happening in us through Spirit.”
If Jesus’ hope for the Church is characterized by unity, shouldn’t our hope be a mirror of Christ’s hope?
“If this is Jesus’s desire for His Church, how can we be so far from it?”
“The question haunts me. I don’t have an easy answer, but I long for it, and I hope for it as a possibility. I pray in the coming days in our country, in our world, in our society that we are able, as a church, to set aside all of our petty differences so that we can offer some type of hope to a world so longing for a single story.”
When we pursue unity, through the unifying power of the Holy Spirit, we are the witness that Jesus wants us to be. With the love of God flowing in and through us, we can be a witness to anything that is pure, righteous, and holy.
“It can’t happen except through the Spirit, and the real marvel of it is that God allows us to reject that. He allows for our own weakness, He allows for our own choice. Though that won’t last forever, every day is an opportunity for us to set aside our small selfishness and simply turn to God asking him to unify us to our brothers and sisters.”
Paul J. Pastor is a book editor and the author of The Face of the Deep: Exploring the Mysterious Person of the Holy Spirit. He serves as an adjunct professor at Multnomah University in Portland, teaching classes on the Holy Spirit and biblical interpretation.
Key Scripture: Psalm 51:8
Featured Songs: Believe – All Things New; No Longer Slaves – Bethel Music; The Lion and the Lamb – Bethel MusicFace of the Deep