We seem to be living in a time when everyone disagrees with everyone about everything and agreement on anything seems so hard to achieve. Where opinions are sought and ignored, where people have lots of opinions but not any solutions. I remember when working for the bank being encouraged in my management training to encourage staff to let me know about problems as soon as they occurred but also to offer a solution, so together we could work to resolve it. So many folk say ‘the problem with people today is…..’ but either don’t have a solution or have an extremely radical one that would exacerbate rather than resolve the problem. Indeed, maybe we are all part of the problem and we need to look at ourselves before making judgements on others.
Jesus experienced disagreements amongst his Disciples, the Temple Authorities and the people and Paul tells us of many in the early church. The Disciples even argued about who was greatest among them and of course couldn’t agree and were suitably embarrassed when Jesus caught them out. He gave them a solution “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all…..Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me”. So in our ‘I’m right attitude’ Jesus calls us to task and not only calls us to be last but to be servant to all and to welcome all! If we are not challenged by these words we are not hearing Jesus and definitely not listening to him. Maybe the challenge is to list all our opinions on things and say how is my opinion going to benefit humankind?
God encourages us in his word to;
‘live in harmony in the Lord’,
‘make friends quickly with your opponent’,
‘pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another’
‘do not judge, or you too will be judged’
‘love your neighbour’
Jesus says “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Maybe you and I are playing our part in being creators of division and in so doing we separate ourselves not just from each other in church and society and the world but from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
As we approach Pentecost we remember how the Spirit gave the Disciples many different languages to speak to the crowd, so in their many differences they might all be one, hearing from the Disciples the declaration of the wonders of God. May we in the same Holy Spirit be one and pray for harmony in our church, society and the world, so we can pray and be part of the solution;
‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done’.
Your friend and servant