Does the musical group Brotherhood of Man ring any bells? They sang a song in 1970 that I’m sure many of us remember. Those of you that were born decades later, check it out on YouTube. The song is United We Stand. The words go like this…”For united we stand. Divided we fall. And if our backs should ever be against the wall, we’ll be together, together you and I”. It’s a powerful truth about unity. Never in my lifetime have I sensed the urgency of the need for unification of common decency and respect. Unity takes our differences and lays them aside to allow the building of our sameness.
I love meeting people. I don’t care what their background is, I can find something that draws me into learning about them. Everyone has a story and experiences to enrich one another. A few months ago I was on a full flight from Dallas to Washington DC and sat next to two gentlemen. One was in his mid 50’s and the other was 28 years old. We talked a bit about ourselves, you know-the common surface talk of career and family. I quickly discerned in worldly terms they were way above my pay grade. The man in his mid 50’s was a Marine Colonel on his way to meetings at the Pentagon. The younger man was returning to Washington DC from vacation and was a wealthy international defense contractor. I was on my way to a medical conference to educate medical professionals about a scar and stretch mark treatment. We were a diverse group to say the least. As we spoke further the younger man told us that he wasn’t married and it was difficult to find someone because he was “picky”. He recited his desired qualifications which of course included beauty and brains, but then said he was a Christian and that was the most important quality to him. Excitedly I told him that I am a Christian too. Then the Marine Colonel said he was a Christian also! Our diversity began to dissipate with this discovery. We spoke about our faith the entire rest of the trip. Our discussions were deep and meaningful and went far beyond the surface talk in our introductions. Unity. It wasn’t our careers, gender, IQ, or social status or even political leanings that united us. We had the common bond of faith and it brought us all great joy to share it the entire flight. God had great joy in that moment too. Philippians 2:1 NIV says, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind”. If we can grasp that our strength comes with the commonality of the Jesus in is, we will stand united in Him and not fall.