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This is part of a series of posts based on the Churches Together in England publication one light: one world. If you click on the link you will find the biblical texts. This post of the same name covers the purpose of this series.
Philippians 2: 5 - 11
This is the final passage in a section entitled 'Living in unity'. In considering this section, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the role of institutions. Whilst we read of the requirement to love one another, we tend to personalise it and so fail to acknowledge our divisions are largely institutional, rather than personal.
In my last post, I wrote about the passing away of all things except faith, hope and love. Lest we should think our calling is to wait for the inevitable dissolution of our institutions, this passage suggests we need to abandon them voluntarily.
Jesus 'though he was in the form of God', left all that behind. The invitation is to all of us, who believe our tradition is sufficient, to voluntarily live in relationship with others. This call is not to structural unity; it is to a unity that sees shared love of Jesus Christ as primary.
Like Jesus we are all called to let go and enter into new relationships, whatever the cost. As a Christian I am formed as a Methodist, but must find ways to relate to Christians of other traditions. Indeed, the call goes beyond that because all Christians are called into the fallen world.