I don’t know about you, but for me, Jesus’ prayer in the garden is a powerful challenge. Yes, it’s important to strive for Christian unity. Being unified in the gospel is a tremendous witness to God’s love in action in a constantly fragmented world.
But I get tired just thinking about it. For me, Christians getting together is like the family reunion that you dread. There’s Aunt Peggy who smells like Windex and talks to you like you’re in kindergarten. Uncle Joe is pounding back his sixth scotch and it’s only 2:30 in the afternoon. Your cousin Jim is still nursing the grudge from 20 years ago when you gave him ex-lax and told him it was a piece of chocolate. And you know it’s only a matter of hours before Aunt Sheila and Grandma Jones will start their yearly screaming match. If you have family reunions, you know what I’m talking about.
Christian unity, to me, is a lot like that. When Christians get together I know what most of the conversation will be. From the United Church, I’ll be asked to defend Martin Luther’s involvement in the Peasants’ Rebellion of 1524. From the Anglicans I’ll be teased about our “fixation” on Martin Luther. The Roman Catholics will try to make pleasant conversation, not really knowing what to talk about, like the introverted uncle who sees you only once every five years. And the evangelicals will natter on with a curious mixture of superiority and inferiority. At least that’s how I experience it.
Then there are the voices that are NOT there. Other...(whole thing here)