Living out the “One-Anothers”
TERRY SHANAHAN, NE REGIONAL MINISTER
I recently visited one of our churches where they were studying the “One-Anothers” of the Bible.
The “one anothers” are verses like:
John 13:35 “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Romans 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited”.
Romans 14:13 “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”
As I contemplated these verses of scripture I looked over the spiritual landscape of New England and reflected on where this is being lived out. I’ve shared in this space in the past the season of turmoil that has been prevalent in recent months in our region. Pastors have been terminated and resigned under pressure. Churches have split over some challenging issues. Sins of gossip and judgment have divided the Body of Christ. In the midst of such turmoil it is often hard to gain perspective. But it was there in the middle of the conflicts and crises that I discovered the One-Another’s of the Bible being lived out to their fullest.
I reference Director of Conference Care Peter Woods article in October FORESEE Update on Vicinage Council’s Rediscovered regarding the use of such councils for conflict resolution. If you have not read it, it is a must-read.
I have been part of four Vicinage Council’s that were not held for the purpose of ordination. Two were for vetting pastors before they were called to a church and two were for helping churches who were in deep conflict. In all of these instances the mandate for being there for one another was being lived out.
In our most recent vicinage Council not only did seven pastors come together to deliberate about some very thorny issues, but in addition, a board of elders from another church came to meet and pray with the elders whose church was experiencing devastating conflict.
That relationship continues and both churches are being lifted up to the throne of grace.
1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought”.
It’s in the Bible and it is being lived out in The Church!