A New York family bought a ranch out west hoping to raise cattle. Later a friend asked what they named their ranch. The new rancher answered, “I wanted it to be the Bar-J. My wife wanted it to be the Suzy-Q, one son wanted the Flying-W, and the other the Lazy-Y. We finally decided on the Bar-J-Suzy-Q-Flying-W-Lazy-Y. We have only had one problem. None of our cattle survived the branding.”
Sometimes making everybody happy does not mean that you have unity. The Moravian brethren discovered this in the midst of internal conflict in 1747. Count Zinzendorf arranged to have a Conference so they could discuss the issues causing the controversy. When the representatives arrived they did not immediately begin to have debates as they had assumed. Instead, he instructed them to first spend time in prayer and the study of 1 John. By the end of the week they had realized again that one of the main lessons of the book was “love for all the brethren.” On Sunday they agreed they should observe the Lord’s Supper, remembering that being many they were one Body. Compromise or debate would have failed. Looking to God for guidance, they once again became the unified functioning body of Christ. They now experienced what they had forgotten they cherished – the blessing of unity.
Prayer with purpose, submission to God’s Word, and a humble spirit brought the blessing of unity to the Moravian brethren. It is time for God’s people to use this simple formula today.
By Dr. Gayle Woods