“May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent me and that You love them as much as You love me.” – John 17:23
Six pastors, five worship leaders and one high school auditorium sounds like the beginning of a good joke. However, on Good Friday, we had the privilege of joining with 4 other churches in our community to host two services at our local high school. It was incredible to be part of The Church in our community!
I have become friends with these pastors over the last 2-3 years by meeting together in a group, praying for each other, each other’s families and the churches we lead. One of my greatest recurring monthly appointments is when we meet. Almost a year ago, we began discussion about hosting this Good Friday event together.
As we traveled down this path together, we had to make decisions about how much each person would say, who would lead, when they would lead and who would lead worship. Because we have known each other, prayed together and shared a primary concern to honor and glorify GOD, our choices were all pretty easy.
Jesus desire for us is to love one another, to love each other in a way that the world knows we belong to Him. In His Farewell Discourse (John 13-17), Jesus repeatedly exhorts us to love each other. What I learned this past week is when we obey, and love each other, we sense His joy, or as Jesus says, our joy overflows (John 15:11).
So instead of feeling rushed or frustrated by hosting another event on a busy Easter weekend, we experienced joy! It was sweet to be part of a larger body of Jesus Christ. What’s true in Jesus’ Farewell Discourse for me is true for my brothers and sisters at Westover, Hillcrest, Wayside and North Village. Gathering in unity together, we were able to work, pray, worship and fellowship in a sweet grace which finds its home in our Father.
When we surrender to His ways, we experience greater joy, peace, love and blessing. On Friday, the closer we got to our first service, the more excitement built. When folks started arriving for the service, they were excited to be a part of something larger; something that looks and feels like His Kingdom. Six pastors praying for a united service to bring glory to God is a prayer our Father loves to answer. As a Church community, we worked in agreement with a prayer Jesus uttered over 2000 years ago.
You know, I know this and bet you do, too. I’ve seen it in dealing with other pastors on our staff and in our city. Friday was another great reminder to always seek unity and look for opportunities to love others. I need to seek out unity in relationships at home, work, at church and in my neighborhood. When we yield to Jesus’ desires, we are overwhelmed with more blessing than when we chase our own!
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:34-35