Many Parts, One Body; Many People, One God

February was an incredible month!

As soon as the students returned from their international trip, we launched into a weekend of intensive and intentional prayer inspired by GOHOP’s 24/7 Prayer Room! For 48 hours straight, we spent time praising, confessing, thanking, and petitioning God in our home’s prayer room, beginning with musical worship on Friday night and ending with our weekly Sunday night Evensong.

48 hours of continuous prayer in our home—particularly prayer over the house, the space in which we spend the majority of our lives together—was a beautiful way for us to begin our new semester as a community. We have continued to spend time in the prayer room each night for evening prayer, a significant rhythm for our home as we invite God into our midst each day and each night.

The theme of gathering under prayer and worship continued as two weekends later, we headed out to Pittsburgh for the Jubilee Conference! Accompanied by staff, alumni, and other friends, the students spent their weekend in the States learning about faith, vocation, the Biblical story, and more. Tens of thousands of people attended the Jubilee Conference, coming together to worship God and seek His face with others! It was an incredibly fruitful weekend, leaving our students with meaningful insights, thoughts, and questions to consider going forward.

But the month wasn’t over yet, and on February 24-25, we also attended the TrueCity Conference right here in Hamilton. The theme this year was shuv, the Hebrew word for “repent”. On Friday night, we participated in a solemn and meaningful time of repentance, confession, and hope. On Saturday morning, we rejoiced and marveled at the wonder of God’s grace.

What a rich month we have had!

 As we continue to learn how to function as a Christ-oriented community, it’s incredibly helpful for us to bear witness to displays of unity such as these. There is something so significant about God’s people coming together under one roof. Humans are created to be relational and to share our faith with one another, and God delights when we choose to worship Him together. As Jesus says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).

Times like these, where we can physically gather with others, remind us of how far God’s Kingdom stretches. Jesus is Lord over the entire world—all that exists belongs to Him. One of the students overheard a Jubilee attendee exclaim, “Look at all these Christians coming to worship the same God!”

These events also help us remember the importance of unity and diversity in the Church. TrueCity is a phenomenal example of this! Over 20 different churches and faith communities were represented at the TrueCity Conference, and the TrueCity network itself is made up of 17 different churches in Hamilton; different denominations, different ways of doing church, and different ways of interpreting Scripture. But they all come together to say, “We care about this city, and we want to worship the One True God together, despite our differences.”

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about the Church as the Body of Christ and emphasizes the need for diversity. Each part of the human body—ears, eyes, feet, hands—has its own important function. But they all work in tandem for a common purpose, and their differences are necessary for that purpose to be achieved: “If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body… Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:19-20, 27).

Differences in the Church are not just helpful, but essential. They are a necessary element of God’s Kingdom. His purpose is fulfilled through the different gifts of each “part” when we come together as a whole.

So it is with this community, here at Act Five. Each member of this home brings a unique perspective and a unique set of skills to the table. We are learning to recognize and appreciate the ways in which others are different from us; to acknowledge that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. And when we gather under one roof in the name of Jesus, those differences lead us not to division, but to true unity.

Know of someone who would benefit from Act Five?

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