The Great Cohesion
This past Sunday, Pastor Paul Nix did an amazing job challenging us to be unified not only as Ransom Church, but as THE Church of Jesus Christ. Far too often, if we asked people if they thought of churches as more unified or more divided, the answer wouldn’t put a smile on our faces. And though this has always mattered, I would argue it matters now more than ever.
Recently, I have seen several billboards around town reminding us in this current reality to be unified in our approach to fighting COVID-19 and in keeping the most vulnerable among us safe. Both billboards had a straightforward and simple message:
“By staying apart, we stick together.”
What’s been so interesting to me in this season of forced separation is that in so many ways, this above statement has proved itself true. As we have been forced to take a step back, to isolate ourselves from others and to socially distance, it has created within humanity a desire for things like community and relationships, and it has unified us in fighting a common enemy. I have also seen its affects upon the church. Though we have been apart, in some ways, we have as a church been more “together” than ever before.
In fact, Ironically, the greatest danger facing the church as we consider what it might look like to physically come together is a lack of unity. And this is especially true for us as a multisite church with a church planting network. As we start to meet at our different campuses, there is a sense in which we can actually get pulled back into the consumerism Paul talked about. We cannot afford to go back to where we were! It’s not that we were in a bad place…but where we are now is BETTER. We can’t afford to become Jesus consumers. We must choose instead to be cohesive. We must choose The Great Cohesion.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
(John 17:20-21 NLT)
This is Jesus’ call and his great concern- that we would be one, so the world will believe. This is The Great Cohesion. I have heard people longing to “Go back to normal.” Let’s PLEASE not do that! We have a chance to NOT be normal, but instead to align ourselves with Jesus call. We have a chance to choose unity and to be one.
As we have stayed apart, we have come together. Now as we physically come together, let’s actually STAY together. Let’s fight for unity, both in our church and among the churches in our city. Let’s be one. Let’s live and love in a way so the world will know and will believe in Jesus.