A dozen teams, each including three people standing shoulder to shoulder, prepared for the four-legged race. Each outside person bound to the person in the middle by colorful rags at their ankles and knees, every trio locked their eyes on the finish line. When the whistle blew, the teams lunged forward. Most of them fell and struggled to regain their footing. A few groups chose to hop instead of walk. Some gave up. But one team delayed their start, confirmed their plan, and communicated as they moved forward. They stumbled along the way but pressed on and soon passed all the teams. Their willingness to cooperate, step by step, enabled them to cross the finish line together.
Living for God within the community of believers in Jesus often feels as frustrating as trying to move forward during a four-legged race. We often stumble when interacting with people who hold different opinions from us.
Peter speaks of prayer, hospitality, and using our gifts to align ourselves in unity for life ahead. He urges believers in Jesus to “love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8), to be hospitable without complaining, and to “serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (v. 10). When we ask God to help us communicate and cooperate, we can lead the race in showing the world how to celebrate differences and live together in unity.