My friend Gregory asked me to share the homily at evening prayers. My friend is a Catholic priest, and I am Baptist minister. Historically, our traditions have not been close. We could easily list the differences. Our churches have different organizational structures, and our theologies diverge at various places.
Yet… my friend asked me to participate in worship with him and his congregation.
I said, “Yes.” And, I invited University Baptist Church to join me for evening prayers at Church of the Incarnation.
Will this one event restore hundreds of years of schism? No.
Will our friendship erase theological differences? No.
Find Common Ground
Instead of looking at the places where we differ, we can focus on what we have in common.
My friendship with Gregory began because we share an interest in monastic traditions. We met while we were both on retreat at a monastery.
We all have something in common. Taking time to find what we have in common can begin the basis for overcoming differences.
James 1.19, “…everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
When we listen to one another, we can hear the other person’s humanity. We speak about what is important to us. If we listen to others, we can begin to understand one another.
Spend Time Together
Nothing can build relationships like shared experiences. Getting together with other people provides opportunities to find common ground and listen to one another.
What else helps build unity with other people?