Joel George, a 16-year-old student from Scarborough’s Francis Libermann High School, is this year’s winner. CNS photo/Bob Roller

Winning essay tackles how to achieve Christian unity

By  Joel George, Catholic Register Special
  • February 7, 2013

Editor’s note: This is the winning essay in the annual essay contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement- Graymor. Joel George, a 16-year-old student from Scarborough’s Francis Libermann High School, is this year’s winner.

It is nature’s fact that a single cell cannot carry out the job of an organ and likewise, an organ cannot carry out the role of a body. Why is it then that Christians act against the very nature built into humanity when single believers attempt to carry out the duty of the body of God and single denominations claim they are the body of Christ?

Upon analysing Micah 6:6-8, which clearly outlines God’s basic requirements of mankind, a subtle plan to unify the body of Christ becomes evident. Primarily, “the Lord require(s) of (us)...to do justly...” (Micah 6:8). If every Christian was devoted to this requirement and practised justice while endorsing it globally, the world would surely be transformed but more importantly, the entire body of Christ would be unified in one cause. If practising justice became each Christian’s pledge, then every believer would be an equal, fellow co-worker in Christ.

God also requires of us “to love mercy” (Micah 6:8). To love mercy is to love forgiveness and serve others. If every follower of Christ forgave each other and never let the sun set on their anger (Ephesians 4:6), there would never be a sunrise with disunity. When part of the body is hurt, the best recommended medication is rest or a good sleep. Likewise, whenever a schism occurs in the body of Christ, let us surrender the body entirely to the Head, the great Healer, and let us apply the medication of love and mercy on the bruise.

Micah 6:8 also indicates that God calls us to walk humbly with Him. The best example for us is Jesus Himself who said, “not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). If the plea of every member of the body is this plea of Jesus, then we will truly be in Christ. With such a petition, our entire mindset will be revolutionized so that we serve man and God, not ourselves. Therefore, “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Such selflessness will not only promote unity but will solidify the bonds between each organ in the body of Christ.

Looking at the three above mentioned requirements of God, it is evident that each believer and each denomination has gone astray. In our zeal to obey God, each member of the body of Christ has tried to fulfill the duty of the entire body, hypocritically trying to obey God by ripping apart His body. God is not pleased with the piece by piece sacrificial obedience we give; He wants complete obedience above sacrifice (Micah 6:7; 1 Samuel 15:22).

Remember that as Christians, it is our duty to fight for justice, demonstrate mercy and manifest humility. We are fighting “against the powers of this dark world...” (Ephesians 6:12) and a divided body is a susceptible body.

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