Last month, I had the privilege of attending the 10th Anniversary celebration of the One People Commission – a fantastic initiative of the Evangelical Alliance, pioneered by the brilliant outgoing General Director Steve Clifford.

I remember when the Commission began during my time on the Board and Council, and it was exciting to be part of the founding group all those years ago (I’m 5th from the right end in the photo below if you can make me out!).

In a world of so much diversion and fragmentation, there’s never been a more important time for a commitment to unity.

In Psalm 133 the writer reminds us of the catalytic nature of unity – it brings a generous blessing from God. When people come forward for prayer at the end of our Zeo services we sometimes anoint them with oil – a little touch of oil on the forehead as a symbol of the presence and power of God resting on that person.

But that’s not how it worked in the Old and New Testament times. If you were anointed with oil or perfume it was literally poured over your head, down your face, over your clothes and running off your feet. It was a symbol of generous lavish covering from God.

The writer is saying that God wants to bless like that – like the dew that covers a whole mountain!

And what’s the catalyst for a blessed life?

Unity! A commitment to ‘being together’!

  • When we commit to keep the unity…
  • When we don’t allow difference and disagreement to damage or destroy our relationships…
  • When we model honour and respect, acceptance and appreciation, patience and kindness, love and compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation…
  • When we expect the best of people, rather than think the worst…
  • When we commit to building people up, not blowing them up…
  • …then it releases a blessing from heaven.

God works in the place of unity.

But this is no mean feat. Keeping the unity is hard because none of us are perfect. We all have the incredible capacity to say or do the wrong thing, in the wrong moment, for the wrong reasons.

And of course, it’s inevitable that we will disagree. In fact, it’s healthy to disagree. Unity is not uniformity. But we can disagree without being disagreeable. We can still be united without having to all be the same.

But it’s going to take some work. Which is why the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1-3…

“I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

Can you imagine how our world would be different if we lived like that?

Why not, with God’s help, start today?