Oneness in the Body of Christ

> We are so made that we need each other in all departments of life, and > supremely in this one. We can and do mediate God to one another. By > fellowship we rise to experiences which are impossible otherwise. > > Religion today is not merely a question of what Christ means for the > individual but of what He means for the world. Does Christ mean anything > for the stricken, confused, disturbed, restless world? The answer to that > question can be given only by our common Christianity. By our common > Christianity however, we do not mean a Christianity reduced to the poor > elements of what we all hold in common. We mean the precise > opposite---something that is to us richer than anything any of us have yet > got. For which of us has as yet fully apprehended Christ? To think that > what we individually or the bodies to which we belong have apprehended of > Christ is in any sense a full understanding of Him is to deny or to forget > His inexhaustable fullness. Only the whole church can apprehend Christ. > > Thus through all our contacts, as we bring each of us all the positive > things we have apprehended, there is being evolved slowly in the common > service of the non-Christian world some richer conception of Christianity > than we have yet apprehended, something more worthy to win the affection and > allegiance of non-Christian peoples. In our own committees and discussions > of common problems, if we are alike faithful to what is true and best in our > own tradition and ready and eager to learn from one another, there is a > creative process at work, the wonder and splendor of which is often hid from > our eyes. We are the instruments, often the unconscious instruments, of a > purpose and creative power outside ourselves. Our feeble efforts at > cooperation are, God be thanked, not ours alone. Through them in spite of > our blindness and shortsightedness God is working out something grander than > we know. Though we may not be fully aware of it, we are being led by Him > into a larger and richer world. If only we are sufficiently open to the > influences of His spirit and responsive to His call, the years that lie > before us will be still richer than the century of missionary effort on > which we today look back. > > Tim