Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Bundle of Sticks

A certain Father had a family of Sons, who were forever quarreling among themselves. No words he could say did the least good, so he cast about in his mind for some very striking example that should make them see that discord would lead them to misfortune.

One day when the quarreling had been much more violent than usual and each of the Sons was moping in a surly manner, he asked one of them to bring him a bundle of sticks. Then handing the bundle to each of his Sons in turn he told them to try to break it. But although each one tried his best, none was able to do so.

The Father then untied the bundle and gave the sticks to his Sons to break one by one. This they did very easily.

"My Sons," said the Father, "do you not see how certain it is that if you agree with each other and help each other, it will be impossible for your enemies to injure you? But if you are divided among yourselves, you will be no stronger than a single stick in that bundle."

In unity is strength.

I was reading this Aesop Fable to my daughter yesterday when about halfway through, I was struck with a deep sadness as my thoughts substituted the Church in America for the Sons.

Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. The Bible is full of scripture referring to the Church, the body of Christ, the body being built up of many members and how the members must be in unity of mind and work together.

Let me say that I am not a defeatist! I believe the Church is vibrant and alive. But one would be ignorant to not notice the division, the hypocrisy, the quarreling, the Christ-unlikeness that is often caught going on between denominations and believers in general.  This has weakened us in the eyes of unbelievers and of our enemies.

Just this past Sunday, the Jr. High girls in my Sunday School class were sharing comments contrary to Christ they heard made by confessing believers in Christ. I was left facing puzzled adolescents and one in particular who now only believes in God “to a point” because of all that she has witnessed amongst believers in various venues.

Oh, my beloved Covenant partners, this should not be!

Please join me in praying for the unity of the Church. Pray for the unity of Believers.

Satan’s plan has not changed. It’s the same old, powerful scheme to steal, kill and destroy. As much as it depends on me. As much as it depends on you. Let’s not allow victory for Satan any more in regards to the Bride of Christ.

Join me in prayer.
Join me in consciously building up the Church with your tongue.
Join me in adamantly holding your tongue when overwhelming feelings and/or a respone to offenses want to spill unedifying words.

We are the Church and we stand as One!