My earliest memory of glue is from kindergarten. The class would cut out shapes from the construction paper (only if we had the safety scissors which really wouldn’t cut anything!) and apply liberal amounts of glue to the cutout, a big sheet of paper, as well as to ourselves and our clothes. The cutout stuck to the paper, our fingers stuck together, and anything we touched became stuck to our hands!
Glues have evolved since my kindergarten days from the old white glue to a whole array of colors, consistencies, purposes, and strength. Descriptors like monster, gorilla, and super are used to identify some of the strongest glues around. Using these can solve a plethora of issues, but just like a child in kindergarten, unwanted items can get semi-permanently joined with your fingers, and painful to remove.
Some glues have even been developed by accident. In 1968, a 3M chemist was attempting to create a super-strong glue, but instead created a tacky adhesive. For six years the chemist tried to solve the issue and market it. It wasn’t until 1974 when one of his colleagues came up with the idea of using a bookmark with the adhesive applied to the back as a way to keep his bookmark in place in his hymnal did the idea take off. And the unity of a little yellow piece of paper and many book pages became a household name.
Unity is something we see every day. Sadly, these days we see a lot of disunity. Watching the news and seeing all the chaos of disunity reminds me of the creation story, when the Spirit of God moved over the formless void. He then said, “Let there be light” and the unity of creation took its first step, becoming one with each other and with its Creator. We think as intelligent people we understand the relationships between all of creation, but we have only scratched the surface. When we look at the earth from space, we see weather systems moving around the globe in unity with one another, as dancers move across the dance floor. And yet in the deepest parts of our ocean, we barely know much about the plant and animal life and how they live together and survive under the immense pressure of miles of water above.
God created mankind to be in unity with one another. One of the earliest signs of disunity we find in the Bible is the story of Cain and Able. The scripture says Cain’s countenance fell; he took his eyes off the Lord. He became angry and murdered his own brother because of jealousy and anger.
Is a form of Cain’s anger inciting disunity in our nation and our world? I believe it is. Disunity is a destroyer and is authored by the author of lies and fear. We can however fight back against disunity, and here’s how. 1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love .” Jesus’ words are recorded in the Gospel of John when He said to His Heavenly Father “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity .”
There is one way to completely overcome disunity around us, and that’s with the love of Christ. Love is the glue that holds all things together. Let’s create a little “glue” between ourselves and our neighbors this week and show the love of Christ in unity!!