United we stand, Divided we fall.
Dr. Ron Jacob
Long Island MTC, New York
"Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit…..."
I once had a conversation with an individual who had left his home parish for a brand new Church. He was part of the founding group attempting to establish this fledgling parish. As many of the pioneers of the Mar Thoma Church knows, this is quite a task. However, he was confident the new Church would be successful because of the unity in spirit which allows the members to live in harmony by being of one mind. I asked him if he would go back to his home parish if the new Church was not able to flourish and failed. He confidently said, “no.” I was surprised at his answer and followed up asking, “why not?” His reply was pretty simple: His home parish was not of “one mind”.
1 Peter is addressed to the new believers dispersed throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Peter urges the readers to live in harmony, to be all of one mind, and be unified in the spirit. All this is translated in Greek to the word “homophrōn”, which is defined as "being like-minded, united in spirit, and living in harmony,". This term is used only once in the Bible, yet it is essential for the success of the Church.
So the question arises "Does our church abide by this definition of homophrōn?" This doesn't mean that we all agree about everything. Not only is it okay to have minor disagreements but it is to be expected and to be handled with love and kindness. We may disagree about less important matters, but in the mission of the Church and the service for the Lord, we should refuse to let any disagreement separate or sidetrack us. We all agree that our Church is to be a vessel for the Good News. We agree that all our actions are for the extension of His kingdom. We agree all decisions are made with that in mind. We agree to be of one mind on the things that actually matter.
Is our church harmonious? Are we as a church working and toiling for a primary mission or are we being sidetracked? Let us all be introspective to ensure that our actions do not deviate our Churches from its sole mission. Unified let us preach Christ and ensure our children and following generations experience the harmonious love of Jesus.
Dear Father, we pray for our Church. We pray for the leaders, the clergy, the laity and all involved in unifying the Church. We pray for the mission of the Mar Thoma church and ask for Your Spirit to ensure our unity. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, AMEN.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“For peace and reconciliation, for unity in the Church, and harmony between all peoples and communities. We pray to the Lord”