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Unity

“As we live in this life, we are constantly tempted towards the divisions that threaten us. We see the world as “them and us.” These believe; these don’t. These care; these don’t. These behave; these don’t, and so on. The divisions are frequently quite insignificant. These divisions are primarily the symptoms of our failure to love. The people surrounding Christ were consistently scandalized by His persistent comfort and ease with those identified as “sinners.” No doubt, many of them were “unbelievers.” Somehow, Christ embraced all and announced this as central to His life and purpose.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other or absorbing one division into the other. But if we do this, the union is not Christian. It is political, and doomed to further conflict. We must contain all divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ.” (Thomas Merton)


“St. Paul says that all the divisions which now plague humanity are overcome in Christ who reconciles all things in heaven and earth. Not only are humans brought together in Christ, but all creation is as well. Evangelism is not just for human ears, for all things are united to God in Christ. Peace for the world is found in Christ who unites us all.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“Our hope is in the blessedness of a Kingdom open to all who respond to the Lord in faith, not in the success of any worldly agenda. If we really believe that, then we will not look for relief from our problems in condemning anyone or despairing about anything. Instead, we will hope in the One Who conquered death as we learn to see even our enemies as those called, every bit as much as we are, to become “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” That is precisely how Christ saw the suffering people He healed. And it is precisely how we must see and serve all our neighbors if we are not to fall into the abyss of despair in a world where hating others remains an appealing way to distract ourselves from facing the truth about where we stand before God.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“Our outward unity in Christ makes explicit a deep truth that our unity is not only all people but also with all creation. The Gospel of John tells us that "all things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being" (John 1:3). In Christ, all are one, all of creation. This unity includes each human face we see, and so each face has the potential, when we remember this deep truth, to bring gladness…Love is not merely a matter of emotions. Love seeks unity with what it loves. Therefore, love strives for harmony with others in body, soul, and mind, an accord that embraces the wholeness of ourselves.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin, Fr. Basil)


“This unified witness of the apostles, in the original Greek, is called homothymodon: “with one accord,” “constantly together,” “with one heart” (Acts 1:14) according to the translation. This word, whose Greek root means “soul,” implies shared experience. This very “soul” is retained by the Church today as “apostolic,” a continuation of the apostles’ witness.” (Dynamis 5/3/2021)


“So then what unites the individuals who make up the whole church? In verse 27 [Philippians 1:27], the Apostle writes they are bound together with the “same love.” They are “of one accord” (vs. 2:2). Thus, believers share the same agape love of God. And they have the same sentiment or attitude…we might say that when the members of the Body of Christ have “one mind,” they set their hearts on the same thing. They are united in a common direction of the will. They are bound together in mutual understanding and singleness of purpose.” (Fr. Basil)


“When people from different races and nations are called to abandon all their differences and to take on one mind, drawing near to him by one faith and one teaching, by which the soul and the heart become one, they are one holy people.” (Andreas)


“Unity is not simply an outward agreement to call ourselves one body; instead it is based in oneness of faith and practice….People who have the same goal, and who strive towards the ‘one thing needful’, have oneness of soul; and they never feel the distance of separation. And no matter how great that distance is, it can never be the cause of hindrance to that spiritual closeness uniting these people in oneness of soul…For there can be no unity, no delight of love, no harmony, no good in being, where there is but one. Two at least are needed for oneness; and the greater the number of individuals, the greater, the lovelier, the richer, the diviner is the possible unity.” (Father Spyridon Baily, St. John Maximovitch, George MacDonald)


“…the Church believes that God is Three Divine Persons Who numerically combine to be One and this Oneness is fully and completely present in each of the Holy Persons…This oneness is also present in us since we are created in the image and likeness of the Holy Trinity though we find many reasons not to act as such…At the heart of all existence is a great dance of self-giving, other-centered love—oneness. Nothing is deeper, simpler, and purer.” (Father Spyridon Baily, Sacramental Living Ministries, William Paul Young)


“…unity is not a mechanical or bureaucratic “thing.” Rather, first and foremost, unity is grounded in a love that is both divine and human” (Vigen Guroian)


“Babel, the place where the tower was built, means “gate of God.” The word is also a homonym of the Hebrew verb balal, “to produce confusion.” Even when we enjoy initial success, confusion will surely follow as long as we rely upon our own wisdom, ignoring the guiding word of God and His ways. The Lord is the source of our dominion – “Thou hast set him over the works of Thy hands” (Ps 8:5) – and yet we prefer to follow wisdom of our own devising in order to “make a name for ourselves” (Gn 11:4).” (Dynamis 3/15/2018)

“Mankind was united as one race and one language. But this unity existed without the Holy Trinity, for man's true unity is union and communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…The Lord divided this false unity for the sake of man's salvation, that man might seek and find Him (Acts 17:26–28). For they sought to build their unity by making a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4). They cared nothing for the name of the Lord God, by which man is saved.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 11:6, 8)

“The unity God destroyed by judgment at Babel was restored by grace on the Day of Pentecost. On that day people from different nations came together to hear the gospel in their own languages.” (Foundation Study Bible, Genesis 11:4)

"Unity is not simply an outward agreement to call ourselves one body; instead it is based in oneness of faith and practice." (Father Spyridon Baily)

‘Unity does not mean uniformity… If we look around and see all of the variety of plants, animals and people, it seems clear that God must delight in variety …We are all the same in essence but unique in our persons. We too should live in unity made up of our diversity and in a loving state where we care for one another in the spirit of community.” (Sacramental Living)


#Dynamis #OrthodoxStudyBible #FoundationStudyBible #FatherSpyridonBaily #SacramentalLiving #VigenGuroian #FrBasil #Andreas #StJohnMaximovitch #GeorgeMacDonald #SacramentalLivingMinistries #WilliamPaulYoung #FatherStephenFreeman #ThomasMerton #FrTedBobosh #FrPhilipLeMasters #RevChristopherHMartin #FrBasil

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