This week Lucy, a 6pmer who works as a physiotherapist, reflects on Sunday’s sermon from Genesis 10:1-11:9 (Listen back here >>>)
Discussing unity with my friends this week, it's been clear that - as Mickey said - we want unity. We want to be together and we find that part of the human condition demands connection. We try to find unity around things that are common. My colleagues create unity around things that are common to them: a shared love of London, food or drink; or a shared narrative or experience: they've been to the same university; they've walked some Monroes; they've worked on a stressful ward or under a demanding senior. One friend commented that events like Grenfell Tower Fire, London Bridge, Manchester and the Westminster Bridge attacks unite us with a primal desire to survive. The Post-It notes of "London Bridge will never fall down", "Love will always win" and "Not scared" affect us and gave many cause to stand in solidarity. The same friend also commented on how short lived this unity seems to be: while we agree that we all want to survive, we're profoundly divided on how we go about doing that.
The problem is that we don't have a common narrative and we can't agree on truth. When people try and create unity they do so around things that aren't as common as we hope (no one can decide what "British Values" are) and as Mickey mentioned, when man comes together in great number, it's seems often to the detriment of the minority or the weaker party.
Searching for something to say to a colleague as we finished a conversation on unity, I was reminded that the Christian message is one of perfect unity, around one who is pure, true and altogether lovely: Jesus. It’s a message if perfect unity; achieved by one who is pure, true and altogether lovely: Jesus. We finished the 6pm service with words from Revelation 5: "Worthy are you (Jesus)… for you were slain and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation and you have made them a kingdom of priests to our God and they shall reign on the earth"
Perfect unity, but not achieved by humankind, achieved in history by Jesus.
The common narrative we can remind ourselves and others of, is our rebellion against God and our need of Jesus. Where humankind can find no uniting truth, the rally cry of heaven is: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to received power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing” They can't help breaking into song: "To him who sits on the those and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever."
Our shared condition is sin, but we can unite around the one who in His pureness, truth and altogether loveliness saves us from that condition into a new a perfect kingdom.