Fifteen minutes past seven o’clock in the evening. I gave a big sigh and stretched up my arms. It’s been a long day. As I again sat down keying revisions on the manuscript I intend to re-submit to one scientific journal, I was listening to some songs by my favorite Christian songwriter. Her compositions are neither popular nor fancy like most contemporary and commercial ones. But what I like most in her music is the very deep meaning in the lyrics.
One particular song caught my ears and I stopped typing, took my music sheet to read the lyrics intently. “Make us one that our burden may be light…. Of one heart of faith, one in Thee”. It is a song for unity among Christ’s followers. Could there be true unity among believers? I thought. Considering the thousands of Christian denominations currently existing, it seems impossible. The conflicting doctrines divide Christians around the globe. Let alone each local church. Do we wonder why the world is not converted?
Actually, I had been pondering over these things for quite some time. Claiming the Bible as our one and only guide, why would there be disunity? Is Christ divided in Himself? That is not possible, right?
Perhaps, we don’t really know why Jesus, who is called the Messiah, came to earth. Maybe we do not really comprehend fully His mission. It is one thing to believe what He did for us and another to experience Him personally. We may read our Bible from the intellectual ascent and do deeds of charity, but without a “hands-on” Christianity every effort would avail to nothing.
What makes Christians Christian? Christ. Obviously. We believe that Yeshuah, the Jewish Carpenter from Nazareth is the long-awaited Maschiah, and that He is the Son of God. He came as a human being, lived as we should, then died so that He could redeem us from the fall of our first parents – Adam and Eve. His death is sufficient to pay for all our wrong-doings, which we call sin. Good. These are the basic doctrines of Christianity. If you believe these, you are on the right track!
Yet it is not enough that we merely believe. We need to have a living faith. By this it means simply that by every thought we conceive, our minds are turned to the great atonement made for us. Tuning our every strength and whole being to that sacrifice on Calvary would make all the difference in our Christian experience. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God!” (1 John 3:1) Beholding the bleeding Victim upon the cross on that hill, this should be our own experience – daily.
Maybe the rationale why Christians have no unity among them is because not many have a practical experience of what Christ had personally done for them. We could not see ourselves as God sees us. We might boast of our supposed high spirituality yet deep inside we could really lack the most important object we needed the most – Jesus Christ.
If our Christian experience consists only of going to church and reading of devotionals or memorizing Bible texts, then our spirituality is only skin deep. We are merely scratching the surface. We must behold Christ as He is – the bleeding victim upon Golgotha. Hanging on the tree as He expired “It is finish!” we should leave our selves there. As He was buried in the tomb, we should also bury our sins and self-righteousness. So that as Christ came out of the tomb, then we also should rise up to a new life with Him. In every breath we take, in every moment we move, it is Christ and Christ alone we should behold until we be like Him. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Are we meditating upon Christ? Is His life our own? We should contemplate over this. Otherwise, we would be missing out the most important thing we need. In the end, we might also miss out our own salvation, which was purchased for us so dearly.
When we do that, unity among Christ’s followers is not impossible. We start to think as He thinks. Self is lost because Christ lives within the soul. The cry of the soul is more and more of Christ. The desire of the heart is to become a child of God and to please the Father as did Jesus the Son of man. Then the prayer of Christ would be fulfilled: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)