Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
Trouble threatens unity. It happens in families and in churches. When the first church in Jerusalem was under intense pressure, immediately after Christ’s ascension to heaven, they let the pressure drive them closer together instead of breaking them apart.
Their first task after Christ’s ascension was to choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot. Peter led the group of 120 in an orderly process of nominating two candidates (Acts 1:15). They prayed that God would guide the casting of lots and Matthias was chosen. (Casting lots was the Old Testament means of finding God’s leading [Proverbs 16:33]. Lots are not mentioned again in the New Testament once the Holy Spirit came as the Church’s Guide and Helper.) What could have been a contentious process, with factions uniting around the two candidates, appears to have been simple, unified, submissive, and united.
From that example of unity has sprung two millennia of debate and division within the Church. In this day of criticism and antagonism against Christians, we need each other more than ever. Be a source of unity and mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21) wherever you worship.
In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity. Richard Baxter