How sad it is when there is division or strife or conflict between or among the people of the body of Christ.
A particular friend of mine once was minister to two congregations on the outskirts of Glasgow – the East Church & the West. Both had been linked together – against their will – and they simply did not get on.
I remember him telling me of the first Christmas Eve Watchnight service he conducted – it was a united service in one of the kirks to which he ministered. The East folk sat together, as far away as they could from the West members.
When it came time for the offering to be uplifted, he heard the East’s treasurer say in a stage whisper to those round about him, “Don’t put very much in the collection plate; it’s going to be added to their building fund”
There was a church where the minister and the organist were not getting along. As time went by, this began to spill over into the Sunday services.
One week the minister preached on commitment and how we all should dedicate ourselves to the service of God. The organist just after the sermon, played softly “I Shall Not Be Moved.”
The second week the minister preached how we all should gladly & generously give to the work of the Lord. The organist played “Jesus Paid it All.”
The third week the minister preached on gossiping and how we should all watch our tongues. The organist played, “Tell me the old old story“
With all this going on, the minister became disgusted over the situation and the following Sunday told the congregation that he was considering resigning. The organist played, “O Happy Day”
Soon after, the minister did indeed resign. He informed the congregation that it was Jesus who led him there and it was Jesus who was taking him away.
The organist played, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”