URC Daily Devotion Monday 20th July 2020 Basis of Union 7

Monday 20th July 2020 Basis of Union 7 

Ephesians 4: 4-7

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.


The United Reformed Church humbly recognises that the failure and weakness of the Church have in particular been manifested in division which has made it impossible for Christians fully to know, experience and communicate the life of the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church. (7)


There are many places where we come across the phrase “the strain of holding together a broad church” …whether it is a reference to the Church of England, the United Reformed Church or even the Labour party.  We might think that diversity makes it more difficult to be united, that it would be much easier to be ‘one’ if we all thought, acted or believed the same. 
The writer of the letter to the Ephesians does not agree. “Each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift” – we know we are not given the same gifts of grace, or in the same measure. We are gloriously different…but this very individuality is built together by God in the church, pulled together by Christ, made one in the Spirit so that the whole church may be one and may be blessed.
The Basis of Union pulls no punches – division among Christians is not just a natural expression of our individuality and difference, like “different brands of beer” as someone once said to me. Our division is a sign of failure and weakness and we need to recognise this and repent.

As those coming from a non-conformist heritage we might rejoice in difference and abhor uniformity, but this can never be at the expense of recognising our unity and repenting of our division.


Father of all,
we pray that your church may be one body,
declaring one faith in one Lord
through the power of the one Spirit.
Give grace to us so that we may recognise our failure and weakness.
Re-make us in true unity,
so that we may bear the name of Christ,
as your church in your world. Amen.


Today’s writer

The Rev’d Ruth Whitehead has conducted most of her ministry in LEPs and is currently Moderator of the South Western Synod of the URC.


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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