We have the luxury of having milk goats and therefore, fresh milk. One of the interesting things about fresh milk is that the cream rises to the top. Most know this, however, the dairy industry has virtually erased the examples from our refrigerators by taking some cream off the milk, then homogenizing the rest.
The process of homogenizing is a bit violent in that the milk is processed in such a manner that the fat globules in the remaining cream are broken up to such a degree that they will remain suspended in the milk rather than rise to the top. As such, every tablespoon of milk, from top to bottom in a gallon will look exactly the same. supposedly, consumers like this.
Me? I know better. I love skimming cream off of the top of a couple quarts of fresh milk for my coffee, or to enrichen some delicious dish. Mashed potatoes with fresh cream… (Now, that is ‘the bomb.’)
Recently, I’ve had several conversations concerning the divisions in the Hebraic movement. There are so many divisions that it is hard to fathom Yeshua’s final prayer with the disciples. He prayed for, among other things, unity!! He prayed they (us) would be ‘one.’ Echad!
Yet, a cursory look at Christendom and we find little unity… even less among the Hebraic. The Adversary must be delighted! (But, I digress.)
Does ‘unity’ mean ‘homogenous?’ Let’s consider the definitions and some Scripture.
adjective \ˌhō-mə-ˈjē-nē-əs, -nyəs\
: of the same or a similar kind or nature
According to Merriam-Webster, ‘homogenous’ leads to everyone looking, being, doing pretty much the same.
: the state of being in full agreement
b : continuity without deviation or change (as in purpose or action)
b : a combination or ordering of parts in a literary or artistic production that constitutes a whole or promotes an undivided total effect; also : the resulting singleness of effect or symmetry and consistency of style and character
Unity, means working together, even looking like the parts belong together, but not necessary all looking alike. Much like a Rolex watch, the parts work together, belong together, and function as a unity (echad: one), however, each part/gear etc is different.
In the Hebraic we really need to consider how to love each other despite not all looking alike, talking alike or understanding alike. Rav Shaul/Paul said something about ‘one body many parts…’
Where we often err is thinking we have a lock on all truth and everyone else must look, act, walk as we do, else they are wrong. we fail to stop and consider we are each at different places on the ‘trail,’ and we each have blind spots and things we need to work on.
As Yeshua prayed for unity, surely He was not thinking of ‘homogenous’ copy-cats who all look the same. We have only to look at nature and see the great diversity in creation!
Consider the use of the word ‘echad.’
First use is in Genesis 1:5.
5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one (echad) day.
The ‘one’ day was composed of two different parts: light/day and darkness/night. Still, the two very different parts make ‘one’ (unified) day.
Another very early and more applicable use is Genesis 2:24,
24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one (echad) flesh.
I don’t think anyone would argue that man and woman are identical or even similar in some ways. In fact, many marriages, an echad/unity, is a combination of two rather different individuals who come together and covenant to walk in unity, even if it mean working out or working through tough differences.
In many respects, the Hebrew roots movement is like a marriage in that there are many disparate people and personalities with myriad different understandings and all the attendant squabbles. Where we completely fail is in remembering that we are in a marriage covenant! As such, divorce is NOT an option! Division over minor issues is NOT an option, yet countless people think it is with lame excuses about minor differences that are better left for the Messiah to sort out.
Do we really want to bring joy to the heart of our King and be a light in the world? To do so, we MUST learn to walk in love and peace even when we may not completely agree on many of the issues that plague us.
My very great concern is that our Father will bring unity, only if we do not arrive at that point the ‘easy way,’ He will get us there through tribulation! The crucible of persecution has a wonderful way of erasing our penchant for division over minor things… but, is that the way we want to get there? Are our necks so stiff that we cannot learn to love each other?
I think we can, but it takes each of us seeking our Father in prayer and repentance and then, as each of us walks toward HIS Light, we will be drawn closer and closer together. rather than ‘crossing each other’s lines,’ we’ll be coming to meet together at the foot of the Messiah!
I would encourage each of us to seek the peace and unity of our brothers! Seek even peace with the Church that we may win some. Seek peace and unity in as many ways as possible with brother Judah. Let Messiah sort things out, but we accomplish nothing by dividing, bickering, backbiting and being out of fellowship with each other.
Let us focus prayerfully on how we can walk in greater love and unity with our brothers, both in the Messianic and with those around us!
For an additional study and deeper Scriptural look at echad and unity, see 119’s Echad!