Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott

UNITY Vol 9 No 7

February 16, 2010

Dear Friend,

I find the pair figure skating competition of the Olympics utterly captivating.  The romance and marriage of Xue Shen and Honbo Zhao of China, the story of their four Olympics and their final gold medal performance was enchanting.


The allure of pair skating is that the pair skates as one as they either move in perfect synchronization or as they perform interrelated moves such as throws and lifts where their trust in one another is absolute.


There is something about the intertwined grace of their moves with the risk of falling that is a marvelous picture of life and of the relationships that are to exist among God’s people.


What a wonderful way to imagine the oneness Jesus speaks of when he prays to his Father, “I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23*


This verse has been called the ultimate apologetic or defense of the reality of the presence and love of God.  When God’s people move in ways that reflect a unity of faith, hope and love the watching world knows it is seeing something that is astonishingly beyond the ordinary.


It is a matter of intense sorrow that Christian fellowship in many quarters is increasingly reflective of the conflicted nature of contemporary society.  Whether disagreements are theological or are matters of personal preference, it’s often “my way or the highway!”


Finding a way to express unity among God’s people is not easy.  In fact it can be exceptionally difficult.  Pair figure skating offers a wonderful picture of unity that is challenging to sustain.


People say, “I am so tired of the struggle and want to give up.”  Yet our Lord found himself more than tired on the cross.  His suffering in order to bring wholeness and oneness to his people gives us the model and the motivation to work for unity, whether it is in a marriage and family or a friendship or with others in Christian fellowship.


“Making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:3


With joy - E. Stanley Ott

Copyright 2010 E. Stanley Ott

*Scripture from the NRSV