Sermon Snap Shot October 6, 2019

Sermon Snap Shot October 6, 2019

“So that they may be one…as we are ONE.”
But what does this ONE-ness entail? What does it look like when lived out every day?
To answer this question, we must consider the connection between two U words: unity and uniformity.
Unity is defined as being united or joined as a whole. In the Ephesians passage that was read earlier, the Apostle Paul is exhorting the church in Ephesus to be unified by
remembering that there is only ONE baptism, ONE hope, ONE Lord, and so on.
Uniformity is something quite different. It is defined as the quality or state of being uniform, alike, conformed, lacking variation.
When Jesus prays that those who believe might be ONE, I believe he’s praying for the Church – in all its diversity – to strive toward unity, not uniformity.
During my years in Clemson one of my favorite places to take students was an ice cream and coffee shop called Spill the Beans. It was located less than 100 yards from my office downtown, and it was a great place to have a casual, get-to-know-you conversation. On many occasions I would hold my weekly staff meetings there as well.
Spill the Beans makes an ice cream that is quite unique. You choose the flavor you want – vanilla or chocolate – and the toppings you want added in. Everything is dumped into this blender-like contraption where it is churned up for 30 seconds or so before being poured into a cup or on a cone. I’ve never seen this contraption used anywhere else.
And while the ice cream is really good, it usually comes out looking like an off-white or brown blob.
When most of us hear calls for unity in the Church, I think most of envision something like this. Where all of our distinctives – all of our color – gets blended into one, monotone, bland-looking blob. As much as I like Spill the Beans, the ice cream that they offer is NOT what the Kingdom of God looks like. No, I believe the Kingdom of God looks more like Turtle Moose Tracks, Rocky Road or Rainbow Sherbert!
Being ONE means that we are striving for unity, not uniformity.
From World Communion Sunday, October 6 message based on John 17:20-23, “ONE”
Rev. Lane Glaze
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC
President, One Eleuthera Foundation of the U.S.

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