“That they all may be one, as Thou, Father,
art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.”
Throughout the chapter 9 of the Gospel according to Mark, Jesus expresses his disciples and shows great teachings and revelation of God, leads to the mountain and witness the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-13), they see a young heal (Mark 9:14-29), himself once again announced his death (Mark 9:30-32), however, the disciples, in his human nature, not fully perceive the message and interrupt them discussing who was the greatest (Mark 9:33-37), and also forbade them you believe and teach others about the revelation we find in Christ (Mark 9:38-41), God himself made man among them.
This is no stranger to situations today live as Wesleyan or Methodist churches, where we often claim to have the absolute truth of the gospel and expect God to monopolize our local congregations, countries or faith traditions, forgetting that all around us there is a large family of Christians, even if it takes work to understand it, or accept it, also part of the body of Christ present. The body through which the world may believe to be reflected in us the unity and love, which only coming from God can be perfect.
Many times we find it very easy to get stuck into our customs and traditions, and when there are problems, divisions and arguments, we excuse ourselves by saying, “we are different”, “we discuss because there is diversity among us,” and it is true, we are different, but we should not be to divide by that argument, when often what is in control of our actions are based on our own paradigms and prejudices towards others, which prevents us from being genuine followers of the gospel of Christ, where we are called to deny ourselves interests themselves to be God through us, where we are required to take up our cross, follow him and not look back.
In early July I participated in the “Stewards Program” from the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, an organization that houses more than 200 Christian denominations around the world, the questions raised before, during and after the activity were different. How can we make the most of this community to serve God in unity? To the light of the Word of God how should be this ecumenical walk? How Wesleyan and Methodist community can contribute to this mission?
I should mention that in my country and denomination, there is great division with respect to such participation, liberal thoughts, conservative and fundamental, which often mistakenly lead us closer to the division to unity in love, I mention this, because I know around the world and in various professions of faith are very similar circumstances.
Throughout these days, I remembered walking and writings of Wesley, while the pilgrimage in search of faith, understanding of grace and the gospel, changes and influences that he had, but in a more concise form, the encounter that he had with Peter Böhler, I get to understand that part of the fruit of ecumenical relations that Wesley himself had, was his own conversion, having close relationships with Moravians, Lutherans and others. The very thought of Wesley invites us to put aside the diversity for unity in Christ, as at some point the quote from Philip Melanchthon; “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things charity” in addition to continually invite the unit by a common devotion to Christ, a heart submitted to God’s will; “If your heart is right, then give me your hand”, “if your heart is as my heart, if thou lovest God and all mankind, I ask no more; Give me your hand and you are my brother.”
During my stay in Geneva, I became aware of the need to deny ourselves to learn to love God first and then Christ is always the mediator to also love our neighbor, have a moment of living, learning and working with youth and laity adults, pastors and bishops Methodists, Lutherans, Mennonites, Orthodox, Reformed, Moravians, Baptists and others, allowed me to understand the Biblical mandate even more about love, which implies the constancy of growth serving one another (Mark 9:35) , which implies the reconciliation of all things through Christ (Col. 1:15-20), and walking in unity of those who have believed in Jesus Christ as Savior (Romans 10:9) so that then the world I can believe in his message (John 17).
Dear friends, brothers and fellow servants in the faith around the world, God has allowed us to access his Word, which is our ultimate authority as believers to be faithful followers of Christ, just as we have a wealth of our heritage Wesleyan, where if there are great things that have divided us for centuries, but there can be greater unity that Christ offers us, we reach the unit through the Last Supper, or communion, which then makes us servants perfectible and justified through faith (Phil. 2:5-11).
Wesley responded to the needs of society at the time, with the help of fellow Christians from different professions Fe achieving a major change in the heart of England in that century, our challenge as Wesleyan – Methodist of this is very large, the needs of our time and in our various contexts are too many and only a united body walking towards faith, hope and love, may respond with responsibility to God’s call is unique to each individual but is supplemented then the collective to form the church of Christ. How are you responding in action and devotion to God’s call on your life? Leave aside the division and allow God to work in us constantly.
Rev. Samuel Murillo Torres
Pastor in Methodist Church of Mexico
Mesoamerica Director of “Youth in Mission”
from Latin American Ministries of CIEMAL.
Young and Youth Adults Committee Member
World Methodist Council Member.