May All Of You Be One
20 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
In Jesus’ prayer for His disciples recorded in John Chapter 17, Jesus prayed for all who would follow Him, and that includes you and me and other Christians whom we know in church, at work or in our schools. Jesus’ great desire is that “we may be one”, meaning that He hopes that we will be united in our hearts and in our deeds. Without unity, it would be difficult for us to live and work together. Being Christians, being united is a powerful witness to the world.
In my office, we have a Christian fellowship group that meets regularly during lunch time. Presently, it is divided into 3 groups of 4 to 5 members each. Each group meets on its own to have Bible study during lunchtime on weekdays. Once a month, the whole group comes together to have a time of worship. All the Christians in my office fellowship come from different churches and denominations and by the grace of God, we have been able to fellowship and worship together for the last 40 years! Yes, we celebrated our 40th Anniversary a few months ago.
All of us use the same Bible study materials as this promotes further unity amongst the group members. As we fellowship together, we are able to understand the various emphases of the different denominations but instead of focusing on the differences, we focus on what the Bible teaches. We also learn to appreciate the different cultures practiced by the different churches. In the spirit of unity, if one of us feels more comfortable praying with the head covered or if another one decides to speak in tongues during group prayers, we will accommodate that as naturally as one would accept cultural differences during mealtimes at extended family gatherings. As we are interdenominational and do not adhere to cultural practices that may be stated in church constitutions, we are free to learn from one another and to even adopt “best practices” as led by the Holy Spirit.
Most of the time, nobody remembers who is from which church or denomination and our unity attracts our other colleagues to want to know more about the love we have for one another and for Christ Jesus.
One of the biggest challenges of operating an office fellowship is that we must maintain consistent behaviors at all times as we work together with our fellow colleagues day in and day out, and our unity or disunity will become obvious to everyone. As such, for Christ’s sake, we do our best, with God’s help, to keep united as that attracts non-Christians to Christ.
Coming from different churches also helps us to learn the different ways in which churches organize themselves. We can get ideas from one another as to the way churches organize events for children, for youths and for families. We also share with one other things we learn from our own cell groups in church and we encourage one another by sharing some of the lessons learnt from sermons preached by the Pastors of different churches. We also encourage each other to go for mission trips organized by different churches and with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, some of us have joined the mission teams and church retreats of different churches and learnt to fellowship with the other Christians in the churches that our colleagues worship in regularly.
Although it is only a small group of Christians meeting regularly in the office, many Christians from the group have testified how the fellowship has helped them grow spiritually as individuals. A few of us who worked and fellowshipped regularly in the small group in my office have since been called by the Lord to resign and serve Him full-time in the mission field. Those who are now serving as full-time missionaries also testified of how the small group in the office has helped prepare them for the work in the field! Praise the Lord!
Let us pray.
“Heavenly Father, I thank You that when Your children come together as one to worship and serve You, You will do mighty things in our midst. Father, teach me to always have a spirit of unity with all brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to look beyond differences but to always focus on You being our One Lord and Savior. Continue to use me to let the world around me know that You are God. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”