“Blessed be the ties that bind all hearts together in Christian love.”
How many of you all have heard that little benediction before?
Growing up I heard my mom and aunts repeat that to one another in moments when there was disharmony, but I didn’t grasp its significance.
I’d chalked it up to Christianese, one of those things we just say like “To God be the glory”, and “Bless your heart.”
But what does it really mean,
“Blessed be the ties that bind all hearts together in Christian love?”
What are the ties? How IS Christian love different? What does it look like to carry this out in the 21st century?
There is clearly a blessing associated with true unity in Christ’s Body:
An Anointing, Grace and favor, and life!
Psalm 133 says
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron,Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord Commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.
What ought to unite us is Christian fellowship, more than socioeconomic position, or childhood experience, or education, or national origin, or speaking the same language, or even social media.
We know that God has called each and every one of us to the ministry of reconciliation, according to 2 Corinthians 5:18-19:
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
The gospel has the power to draw men and women to Christ, to His unfailing love and His eternal Kingdom! To repair the broken relationships between parents and children, among siblings, between friends. To heal and transform our surrendered hearts in order for us to love others as He loves us.
It has the power to unify even a divided, hateful nation under God indivisible with true Liberty and justice for all.
We know we are commanded to love one another: 1 John 3:23 NKJV
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
This radical love is marked by grace and mercy, humility, serving, submission to authority, speaking the truth in love, unfailing constant hope… It is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to love this deeply and supernaturally, because by nature human love is fickle and self-preserving. By nature I might hold onto an offense, let the sun set on my anger. But God’s love endures all things, believes all things. It never fails.
In this hour, the enemy has released a torrent of fear, hatred, envy, strife, violence and absolute disregard for life, all over this country.
In this hour, it’s not easy to be a proud Black, female, Christian. It’s easier to use blanket statements about police, non-black people, protesting, Black Lives Matter, than to engage hurting communities one on one. It’s easier to let Twitter and Facebook lead/dictate conversations than to press in God’s Word, or pray for direction. It’s easy to be a passive leader.
In this hour, I believe God is calling us, the least of these in this nation, to activate our faith, to stand in the gap and represent this unshakeable Kingdom! To demonstrate, not just March with our coworkers, family and friends in coty streets, but live it out loud! To be on one accord with His Word.
This is a time when our ties, our loyalty, our connections, our friendships, will be tested and shaken–or proven to have a solid foundation.
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Blessed are the ties that bind. Powerful are the ties that bind.
Victorious are the ties that bind.