Voices Together: gathering together in unity
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.” Psalms 133:1-3 NKJV
The 133rd Psalm has been one of the most quoted scriptures in the history of church unity movements through the centuries . The scope of unity throughout history most often was comprised of doctrinal, denominational or political alignments clearly defining the terms and conditions of the unity.
The pursuit of unity even till this day in some areas of the world is interpreted as conforming to a dress code, a traditional practice or a ceremonial observance which may be helpful in terms of identity, but is really a display of uniformity.
I would like to suggest that a true unity is fully expressed through a diversity of believers, churches and denominations that pursue a common focus of loving Jesus and acknowledging Him as the Saviour of the world and the Lord of Heaven and Earth.
According to the Psalmist, this kind of unity, displayed by brethren dwelling together, is unequivocally declared in verse 3; the Lord commands His blessing and releases spiritual life in an unprecedented way. The Lord takes such pleasure in this unity that He desires to bless beyond measure, and in fact to bless this unity is imperative; it’s of highest priority. Now you can’t get any clearer than that – how important the unity of the Church is to him.
Consider as well this scripture. When Jesus prayed in John 17:20-23 for the future believers and the Church; His request adamantly was that they would be one, united together in Him ( Christ) and one with the heart of our Heavenly Father.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
I want to draw your attention to the purpose for this unity, this oneness, it was very clearly, ”that the world may believe …” Friends, the most significant reason for the city wide unity of the Church is that the world may believe that Jesus is the way, truth and the Life and the only way to the Father.
Our cultural, denominational or doctrinal labels will not cause the world to believe; the world throughout history has witnessed only through these labels contention and division, but when a city sees the multicultural, multi denominational and multi generational church gather together to worship and proclaim that Jesus is the hope of the city, they perk up and take notice.
I am so grateful to the Lord for the city wide church unity movement that is growing and maturing in the Lower Mainland.
Vancouver Voices Together is a wonderful display of the Church walking together. This amazing mosaic of cultures, denominations and generations will declare on July 1, 2017 at the historic Pacific Coliseum on Canada’s 150th Birthday, that the church of Jesus Christ is alive and well in our city.
This unity displayed through the intercultural and the intergenerational diversity of the church will celebrate our common faith and Canadian heritage through the expression of the arts of song and dance including prayer for Canada; raising our voices together to worship Jesus. It promises to be an historic event in our city and to God the Father be all the glory forever and ever. Amen. For more info please visit our website: voicestogether.info.
Rev. Giulio Lorefice Gabeli
Chair/ Executive Leader VT Team