Experiencing Unity in Brazil
What power can form one global family out of women and men from many nations? What force can raise us up above those things that divide us? What love can cause us to experience a joy so deep, so real and so satisfying that we feel we are tasting heaven?
About a week ago, I returned home from the Tirzah Brazil conference. I found myself reflecting on the experience as I worshipped in Los Angeles on Sunday. Brazil was something so incredible, so joy-filled and so satisfying, it was truly like I’d tasted heaven!
I traveled from California to Recife, in northeast Brazil to join 70 women leaders from their national Tirzah network. We spoke different languages and we came from different nations experiencing different local issues. These things alone could have divided us, making us feel that whatever we share wasn’t enough to truly unite us.
And yet, from the moment we entered the conference room, there was such a warmth of connection. Introductions led to hugs followed by attempts to communicate with what we understood of each other’s languages. As we began to pray and worship together, a Spirit of Unity filled the room, drawing us together with a power that is God’s holy gift to those who belong to Christ. John 17:23 says, "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."
The fact that Christ lives in us – whether in Brazil or the US or Egypt or Myanmar – means that we are all knit together in Him. When we call each other “irma” (needs its proper symbol over the “a”) or “sister,” that is truly what we are. We share a heart-unity that knits us together no matter what earthly differences may threaten to divide us.
This unity brings a deep and satisfying joy which reflects Christ in a way that we cannot reflect alone. This unity tells the world that Christ’s family draws together Brazilian daughters, US daughters, Kenyan daughters, Serbian and Burmese daughters. This family is knit together by bonds so strong that they transcend nations, culture and language. This family shares the boundless joy of celebrating Christ’s work on earth. Such passion not only witnesses to Christ, but it gladdens the heart of God.
As I continued to worship in LA on Sunday I saw afresh that, yes, Tirzah is beautiful – we are the sweet fragrance of joy, unity and love centered on our Risen Savior who has brought us together as a family. And this is such good news for our world today.