"Let Us Be One"

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, September 22, 2021 comes to us from Roberto Fernández-Acosta of Havanna, Cuba



Psalm 133:1-3

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.


Called To Help


During my first stay outside of my country, I attended a church of a different denomination from my own. I enjoyed months of communion and traditional hymns with the congregation. When I returned to my church, I began to worship once again with the music of contemporary bands. The sermons of the church I had visited were presented in a calm manner and ended with a simple prayer. In contrast, the sermons of my home church became intense and ended with a worship time filled with cries of repentance and adoration. I did not feel out of place in either church.


The change of worship style made me reflect on the greatness of God who created us so different and yet so similar. There is no perfect church or liturgy, no singular way to worship – God takes pleasure in believers who have learned to live together in harmony (see Psalm 133), testifying to the world about God’s love (see John 17:23). Christians, no matter where we congregate – let us be one!



Prayer Focus:

Praise for the Diversity of the Church.


Thought for the Day:

I glorify God when I live in love and unity with others.


Prayer:

Dear God, help us to contribute to the unity of your church and to live in harmony with others. Amen. –Roberto Fernández-Acosta

 

Friends – I have also had the experience of worshipping in traditions different from mine, even in languages that I didn’t understand. Even as I sat in an Eastern Orthodox Sanctuary, praying, and worshipping in Greek, I felt the presence of God among us. The prayers, sermon, and hymns washing over me was powerful and comforting. I knew that each of us were united through our faith in God through Christ. I had a strong sense that our capacity to worship as one, although we came for very diverse places and backgrounds, was not only a blessing from God, but was also God’s intent for us.

--Pastor bea