A Parable of Unity

During Vacation Bible School, one of the teachers had an experience with her primary class that she will never forget.  Her class was interrupted on Wednesday about an hour before dismissal when a new student was brought in.  The little boy had one arm missing and, since the class was almost over, she had no opportunity to learn any of the details about the cause of his state of adjustment.

She was very nervous and afraid that one of the other children would comment on his handicap and embarrass him.  There was no opportunity to caution them, so she proceeded as carefully as possible.

As the class time came to a close, she began to relax.  She asked the class to join her in their usual closing ceremony.  “Let’s make our churches,” she said.  “Here’s the church and here’s the steeple, open the doors and there’s…”  The awful truth of her own actions struck her.  The very thing she had feared that the children would do, she had done.  As she stood there speechless, the little girl sitting next to the boy reached over with her left hand and placed it up to his right hand and said, “Davey, let’s  make the church together.”

The story may be seen as a parable of our search for one in Christ:  to put our inadequate, handicapped lives alongside the lives of others and to pray, “Let’s make the church together!”

“There is one body,” says Paul.  Unity does not just happen; we have to work at it.  Often, differences among people can lead to division, but this should not be true in the church.  Instead of concentrating on what divides us, we should remember what unites us:  One body, one spirit, one future calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God!

Can you appreciate people who are different from you?  Can you see how their differing gifts and viewpoints can help the church as it does God’s work? This week, read the epistle to the Ephesians, Chapter 4, and become the church God expects of God’s people.

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