A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bind Us Together?

Years ago I read "Miracle on the River Kwai *," a gripping book that made a considerable impression upon me. It was a true account of life in a prison camp on the infamous Death Railway in Burma during World War 2. In the midst of the hellish, disease-ridden, tortuous conditions, prisoners were bound together with love, forgiveness, sacrifice and faith. This 'church' triumphed over the evil and persecution that was their daily experience.

I have not know this kind of suffering, but have known from time to time, the kind of fellowship between those of us who have experienced brokenness of one kind or another. This is the kind of fellowship that transcends denomination, forms of worship or institutional structure. It is a 'oneness' that is very precious.

I have sung the chorus, "Bind us together Lord -" many times, with feeling. But you cannot make that sort of unity happen, you have to want it. On one occasion we had been discussing teaching on the Biblical reference to being built together as 'living stones.' One person remarked "I don't think I want to be built with you lot!" There was a tinge of humour in the remark, but I valued their openness and honesty in having the courage to say what was also on my mind.

In some areas, churches have got together to hold 'united' services or activities. I am sure there is value in that, but I don't believe that unity can be organised. In truth God has already made the provision - we are one in Jesus Christ - and it is He that does the gathering. We can only enter in, to the degree that we have allowed Jesus into our lives and responded in obedience.

Real unity is hard work and involves opening our lives to God and one another, a willingness to face confrontational issues, putting our wishes to one side for the sake of the 'community' and exercising a degree of acceptance and forgiveness which 'they' do not deserve.

Perhaps we should sing "Bind us together Lord - but go easy on us!"

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3 New International Version

* I believe the book may have been republished by Zondervan.