True Worship (Part IV): Worship and Unity

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The thrust of this fourth article of the series on the impact of true worship on all of life is on the link between true worship and unity. Genuine worship ought to issue into the unity of worshippers, those around them and the environment. How then does worship promote unity? What kind of unity does genuine worship lead to? Let us explore in brief below. We begin by summarizing the third article on worship and right living.

True worship leads to right living and right living is an expression of true worship. We cannot therefore afford to come from a worship Service filled with hatred, jealousy, bitterness, war and immoral thoughts and desires. A worship Service prepares us for loving deeds and not for evil. The worship Service ends with a dismissal or closing prayer but true worship continues in the lives of true worshippers in the forms of honesty, sharing, caring for others, and promoting justices for all. True worship must therefore undergird and influence our decision making and every thought and deed of ours. Being God-conscious in every aspect of our lives and not only when we are in Church and other Church activities is a mark of true worship. True worship is about how we live on daily basis—how we react to situations and treat other people. The mark of true worship is right living with God, fellow human beings and the environment.

Worship should fill us with the zeal and zest to do good works: works of mercy, justice and personal and communal peace. Christian believers go to worship in order to recharge their spiritual batteries, to be reminded of what they ought to do everyday and every second of every hour. Worship ought to make one a better husband, wife, child, neighbor or person at home, at work and at play. It enables us to have and maintain right relationships with God and the neighbor. True worship and right living go hand in hand.

Genuine worship should promote unity. One of the devastating consequences of sin is that it mars all of our relationships. There is always a real danger of divisive tendency, attitude and action in our social dealings. Nations, institutions, communities, organizations and families are threatened by disunity. Factionalism, tribalism, sectionalism, and partisan spirit are forms of divisions or disunity. Disunity results from divided minds and non-cooperation attitudes and ways. Some of the common causes of divisions among groups are selfishness, greed, favoritism (pick and choose tendency and way), insincerity, the absence of true love and sometime downright ignorance. There is always a tendency to promote self at the expense of other selves. Disunity weakens and impedes the progress of families, institutions, communities and nations.

The answer to this common human fault of disunity is unity. Unity means working together to pursue the common good, fellowshipping, bearing one another’s burdens, sharing our gifts and talents, forgiving each other, correcting one another in love, and encouraging one another to love and serve better. There is strength in unity. The Bible says a city or house that is divided against itself will fall (Matt. 12:25). Abraham Lincoln popularized this biblical adage in the phrase “united we stand, divided we fall”. Unity is a must for peace and progress in all of our social interactions.

Unity, of course, does not mean uniformity which is all of us thinking, dressing, worshipping and doing everything utterly like. Genuine unity allows diversity and the right kind of diversity strengthens unity. Differences of outlooks, cultures, economies, and religious faiths and practices when managed well can enhance our unity. We all can learn from and be strengthened by the good things other people do differently and better than us.

True worship should drive us to unity and promoting unity. It teaches us that we have one heavenly father and are therefore brothers and sisters. Worship calls us to seek the welfare of others. True worshippers seek the peace and unity of the family, community, institution, the nation and the world. Worship that does not seek the unity of worshippers and the wider community is false and empty.

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