You remember it, don’t you?  The fabled Midwest American summer road trip.  The destination: family reunion, annually gathering relatives.  The patriarch and matriarch of the clan holding court, chuckling along as stories of youth are told and retold.   Children having gunny sack races and hula hoop contests and parents tossing horseshoes in the afternoon sun.  And then, supper:  a veritable feast, consisting of favorite recipes from each family, all prepared with care and pride.  Then comes the campfire, replete with songs, s’mores, and stories of the Good Ole’ Days.

The journey there, however, was sometimes frustrating.  Siblings squabbling in the backseat when all the games had played out and boredom set in.  Mom consulting the roadmap to make sure Dad was on the right track, and Dad insisting he knew exactly where he was and where he was going.  And then it comes; that dreaded phrase that would add to the tension in the air.  “Are we there yet?”  Parents, already stressed out and on edge, giving in to exasperation at the sound of that question.  Children, feeding off the tension in the air and recoiling at Dad’s resounding, “We get there when we get there!”

The Psalmist writes: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!  For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life evermore”  (Psalm 133:1,3).   This has always been God’s plan, His destination for the Church.  Jesus prayed for all who will ever believe in Him, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved me” (John 17:21,23).  Paul wrote, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3-6).  

So why aren’t we there yet?

His Body is to be one, unified and spotless — but there are so many ways in which we remain divided, segregated, judging, and being judged.  There is so much pain, betrayal, and brokenness.  The Body of Christ is, in many instances, powerless, irrelevant, and compromised.  There is much work to be done!  It is the work of the Holy Spirit in each person’s heart that will begin the process of reconciliation and healing.  He can heal our wounds and bring us into unbroken fellowship with each other, building us into the unified, spotless, and authoritative Bride for whom Christ longs to return.  

Ask yourself:  Am I there yet?  What in my life is keeping me from being one with my brothers and sisters, both here and around the world?  Ask God:  What is Your plan for me?  How do You want me to respond?

PRAYER:  Lord, search my heart.  Show me the areas in which I need to repent and move forward with a “Yes” in my heart toward all You are asking of me.  

Author:   Cathy Schrock
Photographer:  Adrienne Mueller 

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