Unity in the Spirit

St Paul in the readings for today refers to unity in the Spirit in the church. His paradigm and image in Corinthians is of a single body with diverse parts and functions that work together. He was addressing a community with divisions in it and with a sort of competitiveness between those with different kinds of gifts. Paul asks them to put aside their competitiveness and to find a unity that also respects and retains genuine differences.

We can think about unity and difference in our own church communities too: we have many different approaches whether different roles and identities in the church, seeing ourselves as traditional or progressive, differences in personality and psychological dynamics, but at the end of the day we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Paul reminds us that it is okay to be different and diverse within the church without spoiling its unity. We need to learn to expand our capacity to love across differences by recognizing that the Holy Spirit is working in that other person, too. God is alive and flourishing in the many different kinds of people. Our differences are an occasion not for competitiveness but rather, rejoicing.