I recently took my girls to an event at a church that is part of the same non-denominational denomination of the church we go to. On the way home I made the mistake of mentioning that the church we had just been to was a sister church of our own.
“What’s a sister church?” Carley asked. I explained that it is a church that is the same type of church as ours, a Church of Christ, or a Christian Church. “Aren’t all churches, churches of Christ?” my wise daughter pressed. “Well, uh, yes” I answered, knowing this was going in a difficult direction, “but, different churches have different, um, beliefs and ways of worshipping Christ.” Then, 7 year old Laura chimed in, and showing her understanding of world religions, said, “Some people worship Boota”.
I have to admit I was relieved that the discussion had shifted away from denominational differences among Christians. It was a lot easier for me to explain to the girls the difference between Christians and “Boot-ists” than it was to explain the difference between Pentecostals and Presbyterians. I guess that’s because in my kid’s eyes, Christians, no matter what church they attend or denomination they ascribe to, are simply followers of Christ.
Their view of Christianity is so pure, so perfect, I don’t want to mess it up by telling them how far we really are from that ideal.
The Gospel of John records this prayer from Jesus regarding those of us who would one day be known as Christians, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Imagine what the Body of Christ, the church, could do if we really were all one. If we really had the complete unity that Jesus prayed we would have. I don’t know how that can happen in a world with somewhere around 38,000 different denominations. But a good place to start is in our own homes and own congregations. Let’s pray today that God will give us hearts focused on serving and glorifying Him in a way that unites us with other believers.