John 17:20b-21a – I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in You. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 12:24b-25 – But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. (NIV)
Recently, my nephew took his mother and several others of us out for dinner to celebrate her 89th birthday. He took us to a fine dining room in Mennonite country near St. Jacobs in rural Ontario, Canada. On the way, along the busy highway, we passed many huge tractor-trailer trucks, and, since he had spent all of his working life in that business, he was able to answer many of my questions about these "highway monsters". As we passed one of these, a large flatbed truck with only three or four steel barrels fastened upright on its deck, he asked if I had noticed the way they were fastened. He pointed out that they were fastened with wide fibre bands. One might have expected that this would have been the time for heavy chains, but he told me that the fibre bands were much more reliable. A chain, no matter how strong, is only as strong as the weakest link. If one goes, so goes the whole load. The fibre band, on the other hand, is made up of many weaker fibres all bound together as one — and will hardly ever give way.
How like the church! If we depend on one or two strong individuals, we can be disappointed. If we all share the load and pull together as with one mind, our strength will be phenomenal! No wonder Jesus prayed for all of us to be one. Of course, He knew it would be so much more enjoyable, working together in fellowship as well. What a blessed Lord!
Prayer: Gracious Lord, we rejoice that You have bound us together in the worldwide family of sisters and brothers in Christ! Make us always mindful of those linked with us in the great task of bringing Your love to the world. Keep us strong for the trials, which we will face in Your strength. Amen.