Umoja (unity) Christ Prayed For Unity

Let’s be clear, Kwanzaa is a cultural and not religious holiday created by an African American. However, the principles of Kwanzaa (from Swahili) can be found in scripture and can build and enhance families and communities and elevate the political dialogue on issues of importance to all.  Hence, 7 days before the start of the year, I offer this Kwanzaa perspective for Christians, as it relates to the Seven Principles of the first fruits (kwanza).

Principle 1. Unity/Umoja: Psalms 133:1. How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. This bible verse reinforces the unity principle of togetherness and harmony and instructs that our speech, strategies, and behaviour should be directed toward bringing people together as opposed to the divide and conquer, demonize, and dominate approach that is all too present in our social relations and politics.

Politicians seem to thrive on division. Income brackets separate communities into one side of the tracks or the other. Even people who share the same beliefs bicker about how to live out those beliefs. Unity may seem far-fetched, but unity is what Christ prayed for before going to the cross. More than anything, His desire was for the church to be one because their uncommon unity would be a powerful witness of God’s love. (John 17:23).

Today Umoja (unity) teaches us with so much division in our world, Christians’ ability to be unified, even when we’re not the same, is what will set us apart. This kind of unity doesn’t happen naturally. It comes from God. As we experience God’s love for us, it leads us to love others with pure, unselfish motives. We stop trying to push ourselves to the top and begin submitting to God and one another. Just as God is unified, we are to be unified to bring God glory. We are His plan to reconcile people with Him. But reconciliation must start with us. When believers live in harmony, people take notice and get a glimpse of Christ’s love


How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity (Psalms 133:1).

Let’s Pray 

Yahweh, when I think of places lacking in unity, the church is not the first thing I imagine. Yet today the church is full of division. Father, whether the topic is racial, same-sex relations, abortion or others, churches are not on the same page. God, how can we be of the same body but cling to so many different beliefs? We read the same text and have drastically different takeaways? Are we interpreting the Bible the way we want or are we genuinely confused? Whatever the answer, I pray that you would help the church find unity on various salvific issues. Please give us clarity on issues of culture or politics. I ask that you help us to be clear about what is most important to You in Christ’s Name, Amen!

In Reflection 

When you look at your relationships, how much unity do you see at home, at work, or at school?

What is one practical way you can build unity in the church and your community?

When is the last time you prayed for the church? Take a moment to follow Jesus’ example in praying for your church family. Pray that we would experience the same unity that Jesus had with God and the Holy Spirit.

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By Pastor Ray Patrick

Evangelism. Outreach. Ministry.
Pastor Ray Patrick is a R.E Teacher at The Eden School

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