Open Your Bible
1 John 1:5-10, Galatians 5:16-26, Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-27, Psalm 133:1
BY Beth Joseph
I have always loved to write. As a child, I can remember filling every notebook I could with ideas and stories for my future novel. One of the stories that I was most proud of as a child was a paper I turned in for school: The Laundry Basket Chronicles. In this story, my laundry basket and its contents were preparing to take the journey to the washing machine. My jeans were checking in with my sweater, my shorts were checking for my tie-dye t-shirt, and one sock could not find its match. My mismatched sock was fearful he may be rendered useless if he could not find his pair. The story continued in grand mystery fashion, investigations of the last sightings of the lost sock and interviews to other laundry basket members asking if they knew anything.
Today’s reading made me think of my laundry basket paper. While my story doesn’t fully align with each of today’s readings, I was reminded that even at an early age I was aware of this truth: I need other people, but sometimes being together is difficult.
While unity with one another may be easier said than done, Scripture is not quiet about ways to pursue it. For instance, our passage in 1 John 1:5–10 is clear: to pursue unity is how we walk in the light. Unity will not be achieved by walking in the darkness. This passage reminds us that both our salvation and our fellowship with one another are greatly tied together. If we are walking in the light, we also should be united with one another.
Galatians 5:16–26 is also direct in what is required to achieve unity with one another: pursue unity by walking in the Spirit and not the flesh. Unity will not be achieved without living in dependence on the Holy Spirit. Through keeping in step with the Spirit, we are empowered to fight what keeps us from unity, like conceit, provocation, and envy (Galatians 5:25–26).
Romans 12:3–8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4–27 continue with a focused perspective of what unity looks like and requires: to pursue unity is to be humble and know you are one part of a body. Unity will not be achieved without the humility displayed when we depend on others and their giftings. These passages challenge us to honor and recognize those with unique gifts around us, but also to champion how when each member brings their unique giftings to the table, something beautiful is made.
As the psalmist says: “how delightfully good” it is when we find unity with one another (Psalm 133:1)!