Unity is a word used commonly and strongly. Unity of generations, family, community, society and churches. But unity is easier said than done. Diversity is God given and being different is not a sin. Which is why, forced unity can never work and should never be tried.
There are two things which quickly come to my mind. Unity between churches and groups and unity between various generations. There are several churches in India who are at loggerheads with each other and my church is also no stranger to this. Efforts for unity are always welcome and should also be explored whenever possible. But this cannot be forced.
Similarly, many youngsters are migrating from Kerala and India for better opportunities, jobs, life and security. We can force them to stay, but they will never be happy. One cannot always limit someone’s horizon and sacrifices also have their limits.
In both the above mentioned cases, unity is being forced. Might, power, money, emotional blackmail, are all used to force a forging and coming together. St. Mark 2: 21 says, “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.” Putting something together can work for a bit, till it is ruined even more than before.
Even though unity is a natural thing which is to be tried, sides different from one another cannot be sewed together. Churches who have grown apart and become different, cannot come together one fine day. Youngsters and elders who have different philosophies, view points and ways of life cannot come together for the sake of family, tradition and blood. Does this mean that this lenten season should be one of breaking than making? Yes and no.
Yes, that we should go our ways and live our life even as we witness to Christ. No, in the sense that this breaking away is not to disrespect the other person or side but to understand that everyone is different and yet can witness to the same Christ. May this lent make us realise that in diversity lies our unity. Respecting and loving one another is more important than unity. Love cannot be forced on anyone. It has to be felt and it has to be natural. Amen.
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