So much for "unity"

When the Spirit stirs up controversy

I used to read Ephesians 4—on “making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”—and get that vague, warm glow we Mennonites feel every time we see the word peace. My eyes would dance across these words as if they were barely there.

Now they stop me cold. Seven churches recently left our regional association, which Mennonites call an area conference. They did this because I’m still a pastor here.

My rational, family-systems-aware self knows that this is not really my fault. My justice-loving, Martin Luther King Jr.–reading self understands that prophetic actions are often unpopular. But the rest of me feels the unrelenting weight of failure crushing my soul every time I read these words: “Maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

 

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