February 8, 2023

Called to CommUNITY

Monday, Jan. 16, we will once more celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. and his contributions to the fight for civil rights, not only for his fellow African Americans but for all minorities.

Who has not heard his famous “I have a dream” speech. If you haven’t heard or read it for a while, now would be a good time to do so. How can one not be moved by the power and the appeal of his words calling people not only to justice but to reconciliation.  

In Ezekiel 37, the prophet tells of a powerful vision that God gave him. He was instructed by God, in this vision, to take two sticks. On one he was to inscribe the words, “For Judah” to represent the southern kingdom. On the other stick, he was told to write the words, “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim;” this stick was to represent the northern kingdom of Israel. 

Then he was to hold the two sticks end to end with his fist over the joint where they came together in such a way that they became one stick. By this, he was to demonstrate the desire of God that the division of the kingdoms would be abolished and the nation should be united in God’s hand. 

It always has been the wish of our Heavenly Father that all of His children would live in harmony with Him and with each other. Sin is what stands in the way of that harmonious living. The gospel of God’s grace is the answer to the division that sin has caused. 

Ponder these words from the official website of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church regarding our Fundamental Belief #14: Unity in the Body of Christ1: 

“Think about it. If everyone on Earth will one day have a chance to hear the gospel, imagine how many different types of people there’ll be in Heaven. Countless people from different countries, cultures and even different times, speaking different languages and having different opinions, personalities and worldviews. 

“But one thought is hard to ignore: How could such a disjointed family possibly work together and get anything done?  

“Only through the power of the love of God. 

"When we accept God’s grace and choose to live by His ways, we are brought into His family, the body of Christ. And God commands the Body of Christ to be unified (Romans 12:4, 5, 16; Ephesians 4:3).” 

The hand that holds this church together can never be a human hand. It is only the nail-scarred hand of Jesus that can hold us in such a way that our differences disappear. Let us live together in the family of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit and embraced in the hand of Jesus. 


  1. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. Our Beliefs. https://www.adventist.org/unity-in-the-body-of-christ/. Accessed Dec. 5, 2022. 


Ken Denslow is the president of the Lake Union Conference.