For God is all that is good, as I see it, and God has made all that is made, and God loves all that he has made. And he who loves all his fellow Christians in general for God’s sake, loves all that is. For in those who will be saved, all is comprehended: that is to say, all that is made, and the maker of all; for in man is God and God is in everything.Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 9, Long Text.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 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—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.John 17: 20-23
In a church that seems to be able to find so much difference within itself, this is such a refreshing revelation! When we are united with God, in love, we cannot exist outside of that same unity with each other. Unity with each other, therefore, is something less perhaps to be worked towards and more simply to be enjoyed, as it already exists. My late father had a lovely expression when considering any problem to be solved; ‘start at the known and work towards the unknown’, he would often say. We know, through scripture, that we are made one with God. Therefore the unity that we each enjoy with him is divinely intertwined with that of each other. As we are further drawn into the Trinitarian flow of love, other centred, submissive and complete, so our interactions with our brothers and sisters in Christ should be the same. This is true unity, not that we should agree with each other’s theology, but that we should enjoy the greatness of his love together, as one.