I’m so excited that Merge is back!! All last week I couldn’t stop thinking about it! Not only because I was planning it, but because I was really looking forward to being with the students again. The energy level last night was great. We had a really good night and I think we set the tone for what the semester will hold.
I started the teaching portion of the night by talking about the 2 goals of Merge:
1) Connect with others=merge into student ministry
2) Deepen our relationship with Him=our lives merge into His
We looked at these in-depth last semester, so I didn’t want to be a rehash of that, so I thought it would good for us to look at the idea of unity and how we need to be unified this semester as we come together to accomplish the goals of Merge.
We started by looking at some the images that Google gives when you do an image search for unity.
There are a look of similar things that come up when you search this and we talked about what those factors are. Then we made a working definition of the Unity and come up with Together-ness. I think this might be a made up word, but it fit for our context.
When preparing for last night and the idea of together-ness my mind went to pie (hence the picture on this post). We talked about how a whole pie is unified and a pie with piece missing is no longer unified. Then I pulled out a real apple pie to make the illustration that much more real.
We looked at three passages of Scripture that set up this idea of how we show be unified as Christians.
These verses tell us how we should act as Christians toward other Christians. The world tells us to hurt those who hurt us, that we need to look after ourselves. Jesus flipped this idea on its head when He asked for the forgiveness of those that hung Him on the cross. Jesus wants us to love and bless those who hate us.
1) aren’t of 1 mind
2) Don’t love each other
3) Aren’t humble
4) Pay people back when they do wrong
We cut lines in the unity and over time these can lead to gaps and pieces missing. We see this all time in strained relationships. Something comes between us, we let is sit and cause a divide, and then the relationship never recovers.
Our God is a God of unity, it comes from Him and through Him. Even if we don’t have anything in common with another person, we have Christ and that’s more than enough.
As Christians, Christ is our model and these verses point this out to us. The ESV version translates verse 3 as If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Meaning that the type of unity that I’m talking about can only come from being a Christ follower.
In everything we do at Merge from funny/silly videos, crazy games and food challenges, to our Bible study times, the goal is for us to be unified in Christ.
Again, I am incredibly excited for this semester! One of the things I’m most looking forward to is updating you along the way. Check back every week for these recaps.