That they may all be one
Today one friend in Brazil asked about what should we do, as Christians, to be seen as light of the World and salt on earth in our generation. Brazil, right now, is facing a great political and economical crisis. A great part of our politicians are involved in corruption and the justice is part of it, as well. The situation gets worst when you got a country divided between “left” and “right”.
I myself, even considering myself as a person in the “left” side, think that the moment is to unity. We, as people need to get our strength together if we want to change the situation of our country.
As a response to my friend, I said that I believe the answer is quite clear if we look at John 17, when Jesus in his prayer to God ask that “they may all be one” and, in another place says that the world will recognize us as his disciples if we love each other. In this sense, we, considering ourselves as Christians, in the power of the Spirit, should have the disposition to live like this pray that Jesus did about us.
Two things pop up in my mind about these two things Jesus said.
The first, is about “be one”. It is interesting to realize that, during the centuries, “be one” was transformed in “be yourself”. One can notice that nowadays, it is common our concern about our own interior life with God. The concern about the self and how this self has his relationship with God is what matter and it is what is preaching in many churches around the World.
However, if we look back in history, we can notice that in the beginning of the Church, the social character was more important than the self character. If we come back to Acts, we can notice that “all had all in common” and, in this sense, the unity around the message of Christ and the life together as a society of communion was what identified the disciples as disciples of Christ.
Be one, however, doesn´t mean be equal. It means have the same goal, i.e, unity in the diversity of ideas. Unity in the diversity is totally different than uniformity.
How the people saw the first church? The people had they in great consideration, as the text said. This mark that happened before should happen today as well. Only through our unity it is possible to change situations. The people of God should be the first to show this unity.
The second is about love each other. It is quite hard to love those you don´t know. For me, it is even don´t make sense you say you love someone you don´t know.
If we look for the church today, as a consequence of the concern about the relation of “myself” with God, my brother´s or sister´s life simply is not a object of concern anymore. What is important is just go to the church once in a week, sing some songs, hear some reflexions and come back home with a good conscious that I am “ok” whit God in my soul.
Doing that, we totally forgot about the issues of those who are sitting next to us. We just don´t know if someone is hunger, if someone has something to wear, how some family will return to their houses, if they have one to return to, and so on.
How is possible to say that we love these people if we don´t know them? Doing that, our songs about love our brother and sister became meaningless and the reflections we heard about love the world became a total nonsense as well. One can notice that, doing that, we are trying to save the world without know our neighborhood.
Be light of the world implies, of course, be those who can light what is in dark and, in this sense, show the path for those who are lost, so they can walk through. Be the salt of the world, as well, is make difference in the world without the necessity to be seen by them.
As we can´t hide the light under the bed, and the salt in the food can be notice with in our mouth, if we love each other and, as a consequence of that, became one with another, we will make difference in the world and the world will see that, in some how, a new life entered inside him.