You may be familiar with the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum – out of the many, one. You see this 13-letter phrase on the Great Seal of the United States, carried in the beak of the Bald Eagle. It was intended to communicate the message that out of the many states emerges one single nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
I’d like to use that phrase to offer you a word of great encouragement: there is an eternal E Pluribus Unum that has been given to the church by its leader, our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul explains it to us in the following passage.
As a prisoner for the Lord I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)
Here we see the eternal E Pluribus Unum: out of the many, one. To be sure, we are diverse in countless ways:
- Social standing
- Gifts, talents, and abilities
But at the same time, we are to find our unity in our diversity. All of us who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ are totally united because of the One who has united us. Notice in the passage above that Paul says, “Make every effort to keep [maintain] the unity of the Spirit.” This unity is not something we create when we are brought into the church; it is a gift that has been given to us from on high. Our role within the body is simply to maintain our unity because, as the church of Jesus Christ, we are one body and one spirit united by a common purpose: to glorify God and expand the cause of the kingdom of Christ.
Think about it this way. As a member of this “one body,” you are part of something bigger than just your own life. You are part of the kingdom of God. You have been called by God to expand the borders of your life out to the boundaries of God’s kingdom. Never are you to shrink the borders of your life down to the borders of your life! Living for the Savior (rather than for self) is living a life of transcendence. It is living a life of meaning, purpose, and significance. It is living a life that truly matters.
So . . . how does that make you feel today . . . knowing that you were made to live for something bigger than your own life? I hope you feel encouraged today to live in the light of eternity—today and every day until you are received into glory.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!