The Enthusiasm of Unity

A few months back we had the distinct pleasure of of an absolutely awesome day with one of our oldest and dearest friends. We hadn’t had an opportunity to spend much time with her since her recent marriage and move to Madison, Wisconsin.Without inundating you with all the day’s details, let me just say that the weather was perfect, fall leaves were gently blowing; it was truly the best day to experience downtown Madison with loved ones. The most memorable moment and reason for discussing that day was related to the University of Wisconsin homecoming game. We didn’t go to the game since I am a rival U of M fan and not very interested in supporting Big Red. Turns out that going to the game was not even a requirement to support the team this weekend.

We drove down the street adjacent to the stadium and were immediately met by a growing mob of fans and band geeks (said with affection as a former band geek myself) as they poured out of the stadium and stopped traffic for an impromptu victory parade. As we inched through the traffic on our way away from downtown and toward the zoo, An ocean of red overflowed in all directions across Madison. I couldn’t help but feel a little like Moses parting the red sea, but as we moved through the business zone my eyes were widened even greater by the masses of fans crammed like sardines into beer gardens, pubs, and restaurant chanting fight songs, sharing high fives, and body bumping their way through the afternoon buzz. Even the residential area was hopping as hatchbacks flew open, garages wheeled their way up, and grills were a blaze.The whole town of Madison was out in full force with enthusiasm.  A city united was such a beautiful sight to witness. And it got a vision inside of me burning brighter than ever. Imagine the possibilities of such a large and diverse group of people supporting one cause. A mass of people loving life and teeming with enthusiasm.

Real enthusiasm is what this world needs. What if we were united by Enthusiasm?  What if there was one singular cause that we could come together, stand behind, and champion with all of our energy. The word enthusiasm comes from the Greek adjective, “entheos.” En – “in, within” and theos – God.  God within!!! Enthusiasm at its root is to have God within or to be inspired by God. As a Christian, I know this truth as the Holy Spirit, which resides in and empowers all believers. This gift of Jesus’ ascension brings us to my point. Jesus and all that He was, is and will be is more than enough to inspire. Now we as believers need to do all that we have been called to do. Unity is one of those major callings.
Jesus makes a prayer request regarding us that I hope can drive us throughout this new decade.

In John 17, Jesus prays for our unity:
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

 
This prayer in the garden before Jesus’ death has been burning in my heart for a while now. I hope that you catch the vision and amp up your work towards unity as well.

-We need to unite families like 4 quarters of football can.
-We need to bring people together like three periods on ice can.
-What if we were all united in heart, hopes, and focus like when the ball hangs suspended over the rim as the buzzer sounds.

Every weekend should be homecoming weekend. As droves of displaced, professing Christians return to worship in spirit and in truth with their whole lives.
Everyday we should be waves washing over our neighborhood, our city, our nation, our world, in a sea of love.

Jesus tells us:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
~John 15:5

Let’s all get connected, stay connected, and bear ridiculous amounts of fruit in Jesus’ name. Let’s Unite and stop putting up walls built by the devil’s hands. Let us break these walls, put down our traditions and bickering, pick up the cross and embrace our savior, our reason for ENTHUSIASM!