It is so serious, and of utmost importance, that each of us is “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:3).
“Endeavor” is another word for try, attempt, labor, strive, exert and struggle. Just by looking at these synonyms, it is obvious that it is a very deliberate, conscious act. We cannot simply state to one another, “Well, if you agree with what I say and if you eat the same food I like, I will sit at your table and we will have unity.”
In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us in the same text of Scripture exactly what we must do to attain this unity: “I … beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). …
We find a beautiful picture of what it takes to maintain this kind of unity in Jesus’ last Passover with His disciples. When He took the bread, He said to them, “This is My body which is broken for you” (1 Corinthians 11:24). If we look closely at a piece of bread, we will find that it is made up of thousands of kernels of grain; however, none of these individual kernels was left whole. They were all ground up into powder and mixed together before a loaf of bread could be formed and baked.
The bread Jesus gave to His disciples was not only a picture of His body being broken on our behalf on the cross of Calvary, but it was equally a picture of what it took for Jesus to become the Bread of Life. He was crushed and powdered as He laid down His own will and learned obedience through the things He suffered.
What about us, the Church? The Bride of Christ is also the Body of Christ. If we are His Body, we must also become bread that God can break to feed the multitudes of our generation. We can only become a loaf of bread to feed the hungry if the oneness of the Spirit is among us. And oneness only comes by yielding ourselves to be ground, powdered and mixed together.
Thank you for yielding yourself to be part of God’s work. The unity you share with your brothers and sisters on the mission field is transforming the lives of people like Lachlan and Venita, and it’s making a difference for all eternity.
Some of this material appeared on K.P. Yohannan’s blog on December 4, 2020. You can find the entire post at www.patheos.com/blogs/kpyohannan.