People worldwide dream of coming to America. They want to come because they perceive our country as a land of freedom and opportunity. In a similar way, people who perceive a local church as a caring community choose to attend it. George Barna confirmed this in one of his research projects. Jesus told His disciples that the world would know we are His by our love for one another. In addition, the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, ch. 4, urged believers to be a caring community. In so doing, we show our gratitude to God for His gift of salvation. Paul urges unity and harmony this way: “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.” These seven “ones” are the foundation for unity. Love and forgiveness are the key ingredients to foster harmony. The local church is the place where all God’s children can meet on level ground — all cultures, ethnic groups, income and educational levels. We all come together in a new community around Jesus Christ our Lord.
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