Our joint outdoor service with KSC (Korean-speaking Congregation) was a massive success. We had about 247 participants including children and I heard a good deal of feedback how enjoyable and welcoming it was for all groups, especially our VIP friends.
The great-turnout was significant because it was our very first time planning the service together with KSC. We had many doubts if collaboration would go well, but from what I hear, preparation was smooth and mutually enjoyable. And the preparation paid off, as the programs were well-thought-out to allow all participants to have fun, regardless of their age or language. Personally, it was a great joy to see two congregations enjoying the unity, not just trying for unity.
Unity is a tricky thing. We all know it is good, but it is difficult to achieve. Whether it is unity within a family, a company, or a team, unity frequently becomes an empty slogan. Because the convenience of independence often feels much sweeter at the moment than the potential joy of unity.
However, unity is not just a great ideal, but at the heart of God. God exists in perfect unity with other persons in the Godhead. (Gen 1:26) Marriage is designed so that two individual of opposite sex experience unity and the exhilaration it brings. (Gen 2:24) Before Jesus went back to his father, he prayed that his disciples would be united as it glorifies God. (John 17:11) What it tells us is that unity is worth striving for because it is not only deeply satisfying, but it is what God wants. But it will cost us something.
The cost of unity is inconvenience and patience. To remain united, we need to be willing to do things that are inconvenient at the moment. To keep unity, we need patience to deal with differences. Such sacrifice is well demonstrated in Jesus’ coming to earth (inconvenient) and his patience with his disciples.
Planning the outdoor service with KSC was inconvenient in many ways. It required extra coordination and effort to communicate in different languages. It required patience to juggle different approaches and ideas in planning. But as we witness the fruit of unity, I feel that it was all worth paying for. I would like to appreciate all leaders and members who made this service a genuinely unifying experience, glorifying our heavenly Father.