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Missions Discipleship

What Binds Us Together?

Are you tired? Tired of divisiveness? Tired of arguing, anger, disagreement, and dissension?

2020 brought a lot our way, including stress, challenges, and misunderstandings in our relationships with others. The year brought division—a lot of division.

Many of us don’t feel hope for unity anytime soon. It feels as though this year has caused too much disagreement and put too much distance between us. It has exposed our differences. How could we possibly be brought back together?

I know the feeling. I know that fear. But there’s something that we, as Christians, have binding us together that the world does not have. We have the Holy Spirit inside us, knitting a bond of love that cannot be broken, a bond built on the divine love of Christ.

While the world will continue to divide and cause trouble, Jesus can overcome all the distance and divisions between us. Despite our struggles, prejudices, and disagreements, the work of God in us will never fail to draw His people together. We are unified by His work on the Cross, entrusted with the same mission (Matt. 28:18–20), and affixed to the same hope of heaven that can never be taken away. He is what builds a strand of three cords between believers—one not easily broken (Ecc. 4:12). This bond has power over all: hatred, political divisions, and every other scheme of the enemy. The reality of Christ brings us into fellowship with others from whom we were once distanced.

An Unlikely Friendship

We can see this power working throughout history, an example of which is found in the late 1800s. The Lord displayed His unifying power by bringing a black woman and a white woman into a friendship that changed the trajectory of race relations between their respective women’s mission societies. In the middle of a country rebuilding from a civil war and grappling with its implications, Jesus bridged the wide societal, political, and racial gap between Nannie Helen Burroughs and Annie Armstrong and drew them together through their common sharing in the Spirit (Phil. 2:1). This common love and shared purpose in the Great Commission was more powerful than the division preached by their society, and the outcomes of this unlikely friendship made an eternal impact on the world.

The Lord still works this way. Though we feel tired, defeated, and so distanced from others, God’s purpose and partnership through the Cross are still working in our midst.

God wove His stories of uniting His people through the bond of Christ into a tapestry, creating a picture that displays His power over every difficult time in history, every divisive word, and every heated political climate. Let us look back on history and see how He has been faithful to bridge the gap before—and trust He will do it again. Take heart, dear friends. Believe again in His power, and pray to be part of His unifying work. Though divisions run deep, Jesus has overcome them all.

Read more about this remarkable friendship and how it continues to impact the world today in the February 2021 issue of Missions Mosaic. 

Selah Ulmer is a graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is a freelance writer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.