By Brooke Holt
“Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” The Collect – Book of Common Prayer
In March 2020, the world was turned upside down by the outbreak and spread of covid. The pandemic dominated the news, instilling fear and uncertainty. An unprecedented shutdown of government, businesses, schools, and even churches occurred. People became afraid of others as they hid behind masks and locked doors. Unlike the tragedy we endured on September 11, 2001, when people all over the United States met together to grieve and pray, shutdowns divided people and isolated them due to fear.
What transpired from this shutdown and the media frenzy may have even been worse than the pandemic. Despair captivated hearts and minds as the division between people continued for months and was made even worse through the death of George Floyd and the many political wars that followed.
Who wins the greatest victory through this division of God’s people? It is certainly the one whom Jesus warned us about throughout his earthly ministry: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Satan comes to destroy life, destroy hope, and to separate God’s people from him and each other. Satan knows when God’s people stand united in him and each other, there is great strength, hope, and vitality. It is why we read all Scripture to love one another, forgive, and stay in godly relationships, even when those relationships are challenging.
Our Collect for this Sunday is a prayer that this unity would again reign in God’s kingdom. God’s church belongs to him, not to the leaders or the politicians, and definitely not to the thief. As God’s church, we must humbly come back to him. Then, he can lead us and equip us through the power of his Holy Spirit to embrace and manifest the unity he intends for the church. In that unity, there is the power to overcome pandemics, despair, and division. Unity also testifies to the world that there is hope in the name of Jesus Christ.
Will you come to the Lord humbly today, laying aside your fears, despair, and agendas so that you may be filled anew with his Holy Spirit? Then, will you allow him to lead you into reconciliation with his church, to be part of the healing of his people? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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