Thursday, 14 October 2021

Can we be in unity in these tough times? Thoughts from Jo Wanmer


Jesus washed the feet of his betrayers. 
Not his accusers, nor his enemies but his betrayers-the ones he called his friends. The ones he walked with and talked with, explaining deep hidden meanings, and trained in the ways of the Kingdom. Those who planned to protect him, no matter what. Those who claimed they were willing to die for him, but left him.

Knowing who he was (King of Kings) and knowing where he was going (to the cross) Jesus took the role of a servant, the lowliest servant, and washed their feet. Not their clean feet. Not feet protected by socks, but dusty, filthy, road-weary feet. This, one of his last parables, was acted out, touching every man’s flesh and every man’s heart.

As he sat back at the table, he shared that one pair of those clean feet were going to betray him. Shocking! So shocking, He struggled with it. He was troubled in spirit, agitated and disturbed. But yet his pain hadn’t stopped him serving the betrayer.

He shared his bread, an act of deep intimacy, with Judas and sent him out to fulfil his act of betrayal. Turning back to the others, Jesus talked about the glory of God. In this setting he utters the famous words, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ His meaning must have filtered into their hearts as the water was still drying between their toes. ‘Love one another so much that you are willing to wash the feet of even the one that would betray you to death.’ What a powerful demonstration of unconditional love! Love is the way the Father’s glory is manifested.

In the same scene, at the same table, Jesus prays for His disciples, and for us, those that believe because of the disciples teaching. ‘Lord, make them one as we are one.’ His disciples were a varied bunch. Did he really expect a tax collector to be unified with a zealot? Or a fisherman? Or does he have a different idea of unity?

He had just given them a practical demonstration of love. He remained in unity, even with Judas. When love is practised, unity happens.

 As Christian authors and readers we write…not only books and short pieces, but emails, posts on social media, articles and blogs. Are we being known as Christians by our love that's displayed in our words?

In these difficult times, we don’t all agree on theology, politics, vaccines and other topics. How can we walk in unity when we see things so differently? Unity is not about total agreement, seeing things the same. It is about love and displaying that love unconditionally. We can still honour our brothers and sisters in Christ, even if we disagree with them. We can still walk in the spirit of love, joy, peace and patience, staying in unity of the Spirit. It is not our job to judge others, correct them or argue with them, but to pray for them and allow Jesus to do His work, (not our work) in their hearts. For each of us, it is our job to walk humbly before our Lord.

When we can stay in unity, even though differing in opinions, others will see God’s love because it will shine like His glory.

The enemy’s plan is to cause division. God’s heart is for unity. As always, we choose our response. May His grace be upon each one of us in these turbulent times.

Bible references: John 13, 17

Jo Wanmer lives in Queensland with Steve and Barclay, the toy poodle, who is begging for treats! Her published book 'Though the Bud be Bruised' was published in 2012. She also has articles in several anthologies. Her focus at the moment is listening to the heart of the Lord, though his written word, as times and churches are changing. 




  1. I really loved and related to this post, Jo--plus it is beautifully written. Thank you. We have those close to us right now who are choosing a different path and this has reminded me to keep loving and serving them unconditionally. God bless.

    1. Thank you Jo-Anne. I'm often reminded of the warrior that appeared before Joshua. When asked whose side he was one he answered neither. God never takes side. We are to pray for the Kingdom to come and cheer on His ways. And His way is always love. I think these tough times are designed to make us more like Him!

  2. I really enjoyed this, Jo. We have experienced some special friends, who for reasons we cannot understand, have turned away from us. The Lord has clearly shown me to continue to show love unconditionally. I particularly love your last paragraph: “The enemy’s plan is to cause division. God’s heart is for unity. As always, we choose our response. May His Grace be upon us in these turbulent times.” They are turbulent times, but I think that spending more time at home has given more time for quietness and thinking of how we can show love and care to others. Like Jo- Anne, we have some who are presently going their own way, but we are concentrating on showing unconditional love. Thank you again for sharing these lovely thoughts.

    1. Thanks Heather for reading and taking time to comment. Love isn't unconditional until it cost us something. What an opportunity we have to let Him shine in us. Blessings