Saturday, August 26, 2006

Spiritual Meditation from an Unlikely Source

Perhaps I can be forgiven for suggesting a spiritual meditation from a secular source. About a week ago I commented about the sadness of the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". It was written in 1943 when the world was convulsed by war, and when millions of loved ones were far away from home. Let's look at the words:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

Definitely something that can move you to tears. But lets think about the present reality the Church lives with. The Church Universal and the Church Militant are currently separated from each other, and indeed the Church Militant itself is separated from each other. There are people who are my fellow believers who are separated from me by distance and by doctrine. There are people who have the same Saviour, and yet our doctrines are such that for all practical senses we cannot have much in the way of fellowship with each other. So for example, a very strong charismatic would feel as uncomfortable in my local church as I would feel in his local church.

So I have to ask the question, "how do we feel about this?" We can talk about unity, but do we literally ache because of the divisions within the Church. Like the people in World War 2 who longed to see their loved ones again, do we long to see and have rich fellowship with all those whom Christ has saved (across divisions of time, distance, doctrine and practice)?

The song writer could only mutter a few words about "if the fates allow", and indeed some of those people were never reunited due to the violence of war. But within the church our unity is an established fact, even if it is unrecognized on earth. One day we will all be together, because our Lord has willed it. Our doctrine with be corrected, our knowledge full, and there will only be one topic for the conversation. Unity within the whole body will be realized, never to be broken again. What a day that will be!


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