A Call for Christian Love and Unity
Today’s gospel from Luke 11 speaks about 2 things. First, he speaks about the importance of prayer and to keep asking. And second, the importance of being “one” – a divided house cannot stand.
So what does it mean “a divided house cannot stand”? We see this passage in 3 different gospels in which our Lord Jesus Christ says this. Luke 11, Mark 3 and Matthew 12. In response to the Pharisees’ accusation that Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Satan.
And Jesus responds, and his argument to the Pharisees is quite logical: A kingdom that is at crossed purposes with itself will fall. Any household riven by infighting will tear itself apart. If Jesus was in association with Satan, or Satan was working through Jesus, it is unlikely that exorcism would be a priority.
By saying a divided house cannot stand, Jesus is stating that success lies in accordance. This is something we see in daily life all the time, a machine, a sports team, a government party, or one’s mind. Things have to work together if anything is to be accomplished.
The Bible says “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways” – James 1:8. And St. Paul appeals to the churches that there be no divisions, 1 Corinthians 1:10. In fact, churches should be unified in their purpose and judgment, avoiding people who cause division. Christians are not to quarrel but be unified by a common understanding of truth.
God commands unity among believers because productivity and usefulness grind to a halt and the whole organization is weakened and vulnerable to attack.
Christians, as followers of the Prince of Peace, are called to live in harmony with one another. And as far as it depends on us to be at peace with everyone. Jesus Christ is building his church, his house will stand, his dominion will never end.
In our holy Syriac church, we have to stay united as one people. We are all immigrants, we came here to stay, not to perish. God is with us, we have to be together. Because together, we can. We cannot be judged by our geographical belonging. We are all only Suryoyo.
Later this year, we will have a board election. We will choose not based on one’s origin, but we have to know who will do the work for us, and do the work for us to succeed.
I am calling for unity and harmony for all that we are doing in our lives. Love is the only thing that helps us achieve what Jesus is saying. Love one another so we can have a better future for all of our churches, parishioners, and the future generations.
Learn more from Archbishop John Kawak in the sermon video here.
May 21, 2023