Thursday, 17 January 2019

Unity

Psalm 133:1 is well known for the words "How good it is when God's people live together in unity". It is indeed good! Yet the fact is it is also hard work, and effort that must be sustained if there is to be fruitful unity in the long haul.

Unity requires more than us just meeting to worship with one another from time to time (though it is of course good to do that!). Unity requires that we make that extra bit of effort to communicate and include. It requires us to share our thoughts and plans with a genuine openness to 'the other'.

It requires us parking to a significant degree that which would be solely our own agenda, our own 'way of doing things'. It requires us to pursue joint operations even when it might seem to be 'just easier' to go it alone. It requires us to suspend our suspicions.

I'm sure many of us know all this. But what we might also forget is that unity requires us to keep on doing the above ... to keep on making that extra bit of effort to communicate more widely and include, for example. On one level this is simply because our regular 'bumping into occasions' are with those we work with, with those in our own organisation. So naturally we share / bounce off / touch base with these people a lot more than we do with those in other organisations. We therefore have to work harder and network more intentionally to overcome the relative deficit.

Our different organisations probably have different top line visions or directions of travel. There is nothing wrong with that, but again it means that on our joint operations we have to work that little bit harder to rehearse the value and reason for our co-operation - it won't come as naturally as within our own organisation.

All this means that we have to keep working the pump, so to speak. An initial well intentioned gathering will be good but will only get us so far. To pursue unity will need more sustained effort, applied and re-applied over and over.

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