Becoming One But Not the Same: Reflecting on the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

Today is the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul.  Since you’re on my ministry mailing list, I wanted to tell you why it’s such a significant day for me personally.

The Apostles are some of our greatest heroes. Yet they had strong disagreements with each other.  For example in Galatians 2:11-14 we learn that Paul publicly confronted Peter (he ate with the gentiles Christians only when the jewish Christians weren't around).

This feast always reminds me of that story.  Since I work in missionary care as a marriage and family therapist—unity among christians is the focus of much of my day.   This feast celebrates these two great missionaries who had real divisions and difficulties, and that gives me hope.

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You and I were created in the image of the Triune God.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit dwell in perfect unity without loosing their uniqueness.  We’re called to do the same.  To be united to one another without loosing our uniqueness.

If I’m honest—this seems impossible. We seem more divided than ever.  Divided by politics and race and gender and wealth and religion.  We are divided from the global level, down to our churches and communities, to our homes and hearts.  

How can we possible be one as Jesus and the Father are one (John 17:21)?  What Jesus says about the path to perfection for the rich young ruler resonate with me when I think of this united diversity: “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

That’s my prayer today. That through the prayers of Ss. Peter and Paul, Christ our true God, might plant the desire for unity within us and give us the gift of tenacity to seek to become one without trying to become the same.

In the next week or so, I’ll send out my second quarter update—I’ve got some great news to share…  Until then, I’m cheering for you!  

With warmest regards,


Geoff Whiteman