"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success." - Henry Ford
I like this quotation from Henry Ford. I believe it is true. I believe it is true for the Church. "Together" in the Bible is often worded "one another." 72 times "one another" shows up in the NIV translation of scripture. Some are benign. But some are powerful. Love one another, forgive one another, encourage one another, be devoted to one another, teach one another, honor one another, serve, put up with…you get it. Ford's words could be true for family and country as well.
My question is this. Do we stop and ask one another if we have made the whole progression of Ford's quotation? For Church, "success" might be the Kingdom alive and visible. Or Christ, powerful and active in our church.
Beginning are great. Getting people together is noble, if not fun. Often, getting people to church is a chore. But someone is always there, coming together, keeping God's promises alive. Progress often is how people grade church. Are we better than we were? Are there more people? More programs? This step takes "keeping together," for progress cannot be made without some dedication and commitment.
But the sweet smell of church health (success) is giving up our agenda, rolling up our sleeves, putting-up-with-each other, working together. Paul knows that the Body needs all piece integrated in order to thrive and fulfill her mission. "One another" math makes 1+1 = ∞. Christ renews the earth.
Are you coming, keeping or working together this day? This from the end of Morning Prayer. One of my favorites.
Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely
more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from
generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus
for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20, 21