If you’re fishing for unity in the body of Christ, bait with your heart, not with minute theological details! To experience “reel” unity, we need to let the Holy Spirit pull us together!
The early Christians experienced a supernatural sense of oneness with one another. However, they had many enemies who were ready to arrest or kill them, so they had to be careful to correctly identify other believers.
One thing that they did was to use a fish as a symbol of their faith in Christ. The word “fish” in the Greek language makes an acrostic with the first letters of the phrase, “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.”
It is said that sometimes when early Christians met a stranger that they would draw a curve in the dirt. If the other person was a Christ-follower, she or he would draw a reverse of the curve and complete a rough fish drawing. Then they could safely enjoy their miraculous unity in Christ, with one another.
Deep, heart-felt oneness with other Christ-followers is a tremendous source of strength and comfort. Why don’t we experience it more often?
This Bible verse can help us with that question: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” –Ephesians 4:3
The Greek word (“henotes”) translated as “unity” literally means “oneness.” I found these two definitions of it: “harmony from sharing likeness of nature with the Lord” and “the God produced unity between believers.”
Ephesians tells us to do everything we can to “keep” (“maintain”) the harmony with other believers that God has put in our heart. If we ignore our intimate, inner connection with other Christ-followers and fail to maintain it, we soon lose it.
Then instead of drawing a complete fish together, we hold on to and control our tiny (doctrinal or institutional) piece of God’s amazing world-wide fish puzzle. Today they say that the body of Christ is chopped up into about 70,000 independent organizational pieces. (Diced fish!)
So, have we maintained the unity of the Spirit in the body of Christ? Not so well. Perhaps it is time to reach out to Christ-followers who don’t look, think, or act like you and discover and embrace their part of God’s fish!