The human race finds itself in such boundless misery because it has fallen into a state of hostility. It is split apart, lacerated. This cleft shows the disastrous degree to which coldness of heart and hostility has advanced in a divided humankind.
It was not always like that. The hour of humankind’s birth was a time when people lived in peace with God and one another. There is simply no doubt that the cradle of humanity was Paradise (Gen. 2:8–15).
What is Paradise? Paradise is peace. When all powers work together in one spirit, in unbroken harmony, that is the secret of peace. Peace is like a prism that gathers all the colors of the spectrum in the pure white light of the sun and refracts them as the resplendent hues of the rainbow. In this peace all powers and gifts are used to serve God. That is the peace humanity knew at its very beginning.
The Book of Genesis tells us that the humanity’s task was to till and preserve the land, to name all creatures, and to be master over the animals (Gen. 2:15, 19; 1:26–28). Humankind has not made any progress; in fact, the task set in Paradise is still not done. Yet from the outset humanity was given the task to live in harmony and peace, in community of work, in creative fellowship.
Everywhere the world is going to pieces. It is crumbling and rotting away. It is going through a process of disintegration. It is dying. And in these fearsome times, through the Holy Spirit Christ places the city-church with its unconditional unity right into the world (John 17:11, 23; Matt. 5:14). The only help for the world is to have a place of gathering, to have people whose will, undivided and free of doubt, is bent on gathering with others in unity.
Paul the Apostle says that all nations of the earth shall be gathered in this church, that the fences and walls between races, nations, classes, ranks, and individuals shall be broken down (Col. 3:11). Not only shall the entire world be conquered for God, but the church shall reveal a life of complete unity in the midst of it.
This is a time when the whole world is in extreme danger. It is urgent therefore that we decide to accept the gift God offers us: life in the communal church, a life of unity.
Adapted from God’s Revolution (Walden, NY: Plough, 2021).
Article edited for length and clarity.