Recently I was challenged by a friend to really dive into the word unity. As I thought about it, some questions came to mind.
What does unity mean to me? What does it mean to God? What does what it means to God mean for me? Does that question even make sense?
We know that God desires that the body, His bride, the church, to be unified (Psalm 133). If we want to see God work, to experience Him in incredible ways, we need to be unified. The outpouring of His Holy Spirit is dependent on our unity. We see in Acts 2, and 3, and well pretty much everywhere in the book of Acts, that when God’s Spirit fell, people were gathered “in one accord” (Insert punch line from that joke about how many disciples fit in a Honda). They were already unified in their hearts, minds, possessions, desires. How did they get unified? How do we “get unified?” What does that even look like? Does He want us to be part of a great Christian collective, like the Borg? Good grief! That sounds AWFUL! I mean, didn’t He make us all different? Aren’t we all unique; fearfully and wonderfully made? (Psalm 139)
My Google dictionary defines unity as:
Unity: noun, plural u·ni·ties.
1. the state of being one; oneness
2. a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
3. the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification.
4. absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character.
5. oneness of mind, feeling, etc., as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement.
Oneness. Harmony. Agreement. Undivided. Whole.
Oneness– the state of being unified
Harmony– the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect.
-the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.
Agreement– harmony or accordance in opinion or feeling; a position or result of agreeing.
Undivided– not divided, separated, or broken into parts.
(also) concentrated on or devoted completely to one object
Whole– in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece.
So just taking a couple of those and sort of fleshing them out.
Harmony makes me think of music, for which I have great love but no talent whatsoever. I especially adore harmonies. They are so interesting and beautiful! I love listening to the Ignition633 Worship Team sing in harmony. Especially when they don’t know anyone is listening and they are just randomly worshiping during a practice time or a sound check. Their many faceted voices blended together in casual, spontaneous, beautiful harmonies of worship and praise. The way the different voices blend together amazes me. Harmonies are so interesting. I mean, imagine a barbershop quartet where the singers all sang the same notes! It would be nice and all, but it certainly would not have any depth or be very interesting!
Undivided. I know what that means, obviously, but the sub definition thingy kind of resonates with me. “Concentrated on or devoted completely to one object” or, in this case, one God. That makes sense too. In every word we speak, every task we undertake, everything we do or say, if we are all concentrated on or completely devoted to Jesus while doing said task, we would, in every sense of the word, be unified. It would not matter where we were located geographically. We could be in the same room or we could be across the globe, if we are focused on the same thing (in this case, Jesus), there is unity and where there is unity, His Holy Spirit can fill and move and work and dwell.
He does not want a bunch of automatons. He certainly does not want a collective, Borg or otherwise! He absolutely did make us unique. He has gifted you differently than He has gifted me and vice versa. We are meant to work together in harmony, in one accord. What makes you unique and special, when coupled with what makes me unique and special, makes a beautiful harmony. A beautiful harmony concentrated and devoted completely to Jesus. (Isa 43:21; 1 Peter 2:9)