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The founding of our nation was on the unity of certain things, freedoms. Freedom of religion was paramount. Our founding Fathers did not agree on everything, but it seems they were in unity on the freedom of religion. Freedom from tyrannical government impeding religion.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were on opposite sides of the aisle on many issues, yet they worked together through the years. After they left the active roles in politics, Adams living in Massachusetts, Jefferson in Virginia they did not communicate for years largely due to the distance and mode of travel in their day. Later in life though they once again began exchanging letters until their deaths. These letters reveal much about each man and his love for this young nation. The letters provide a very interesting study.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, friends with differences of opinion and political favor, lived in unity and friendship for religious freedom and a free nation. It is reported that other than his wife, Adams corresponded more with Jefferson than any other person. Interestingly enough, both men, signers of the Declaration of Independence which was ratified on July 4th 1776, died fifty years later to the day on July 4th 1826. These friends even died in unity on the very same day, Adams (90) in Massachusetts and Jefferson (83) in Virginia.

Today, it seems unity is fleeting, fleeting from our national leaders, from our nation’s citizens and from within the church. Christianity in the United States today is often based more on our preferences than the unity of the body. We want our music and preaching style at our preferred time and within our preferred time limits. Instead of the unity of the New Testament church found in the book of Acts, ours has become a Christianity of comfort. As believers in Christ, we are called to unite around sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. This Good News is the Love and justness of a Holy God. If we cannot show respect and love for one another inside the church how can we expect the world to believe in a God we so disrespect.

Jesus’ entire life demonstrated unity between He and the Father. He even prayed for our unity, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:20-21

Our nation needs prayer indeed. Yet our greatest need may be for unity inside the body of Christ first – unity in Him – that the world might believe God sent Christ.

What if instead of fussing, demeaning others inside and outside the church, we came together in unity to fight the hunger and devastations of the pandemic we’re in? What if we put our resources and talents together, in unity, sharing the Love of God? What if we lived as Jesus taught, putting the comforts of preference behind us in an effort to bring our corner of the world to a saving grace found only in Jesus.

You have gifts, talents, and a voice that can speak either for God or against Him. Which do you choose today?

George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.

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