“E pluribus unum” is a phrase taken from an ancient Latin poem. (It was adopted as a motto for the Seal of the United States and is found embossed on US currency.) Its original author (possibly, Virgil) used it to describe the colors of light: many different colors make up white light, which then separate through a prizm or a cloud to make up the rainbow. White light is “out of many, one;” it is unity and diversity.
So also is the human body. This also is what the church is and is called to be: unified diversity. Paul says: “Many members in one body” (Romans 12:5; I Cor.12:12).
Furthermore, the marvel of the universal Church is that Christ by the Gospel gathers people out of many nations together into the unity of one confession of faith. In a congregation there is such diversity: different faces, personalities, gifts, strengths, weaknesses, natural ages, spiritual maturity, insights, etc.
The miracle of this unity comes to its sharpest focus when we experience a local congregation of such different, sin-burdened people “in harmony, in one place, in prayer” (Acts 1:14, 2:1) “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in 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 you all.” (Eph.4:4-6)
May we all worship the Lord in the experience of that harmony and oneness to which we are called, willing to live in fellowship and love with one another. What a miracle church harmony is! Out of so many different people one gathering, united by one faith, one baptism, one Lord -- worshipping in the union of prayer, sacrament, and song! Let us value it as precious and handle it carefully since it is fragile. Let us “endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph.4:3).
Rev. Pieter VanderMeyden
Rev. Pieter VanderMeyden currently pastors the Free Reformed Church in Vineland, Ontario, Canada. He has also served as visiting instructor at the Puritan...