Living in community can be really messy and difficult. There’s difference of opinion, conflict, and sometimes people just get on our nerves. So what do we do with this potential for disagreement and conflict as disciples of Christ? Do we sweep it under the rug, or do we deal with it head on?
In this past week’s gospel text, we read that the men who would become the twelve disciples dropped and left all they had to follow Jesus. But did they know or understand what that would mean for them? Did they know it would mean having to live with one another, to minister to people together, and stand in solidarity when things got hard?
When we read this text and our text from 1 Corinthians, it’s almost like we go through a movement, in a way. The disciples answered the initial call to follow Jesus, and the church at Corinth experienced the messiness of doing so in the context of community. It’s a movement from being a single follower of Jesus, to part of a community of followers. The church at Corinth struggled a lot with conflict and Paul called them out on it. He knew that they needed to regain focus of their mission: to follow Christ, and forget about what could divide them. For what united them—Christ—is more important than anything that might divide them. May we remember that it’s okay to disagree and to deal with conflict as it happens. But may we not forget what truly matters: our common mission to serve and worship God as a healthy, united community.