What binds us to one another in groups is like surface tension. We gather in groups like a droplet of water gathers but we also can be scattered easily.
"For it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' " - Matthew 26:31b ESV
Leadership can be a gathering force but it can also be a scattering one.
"Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: "You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply." - Jeremiah 23:1-3 ESV
We see loving families that are tightly joined and it is a beautiful union based on love and commitment.
"He answered, 'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.' " - Matthew 19:4-6 ESV
This is a great union.
"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." - 1 Samuel 18:1 ESV
Jonathan was a friend to David when David was in trouble. David was anointed to be king but was hounded by Jonathan's father for years and years. King Saul was a scatterer but Jonathan was bound to the friendship.
"But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him." - 1 Corinthians 6:17 ESV
The Greek word translated joined is Kollao (Strong's G2853) and it speaks of a vegetable glue that was used in making sandals. Once this glue was applied the leather of the sole and material used to touch a person's foot was fused together so strongly that you would destroy the parts if you tried to remove them from each other.
As individuals we become fused to God in our human spirit at a certain moment in time.
"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' " - Hebrews 13:5 ESV
"...you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree..." - Romans 11:24a ESV (a part of verse)
Israel is the cultivated tree that is connected by a heritage. Israel holds the bloodline of Messiah and the Church has been grafted into the base. The Church is not Israel but it is nourished by the root and the fruit is a result of being grafted in.
I have seen leadership that produces unity and it is beautiful. I have also experience leadership that divides and it is brutal. Nothing can separate us from God once we have been joined to Him. The moment we mix faith with what Jesus has done for us on the cross spiritual glue is applied to us and we have a new root system that will never fail us.
David was anointed to be king but when he was poor and needy Jonathan was a person that treated him like a king. David's mighty men got a reflection of the investment that David got from Jonathan.
I think this morning of our many group attachments that are like water droplets... family... work... groups of friends... Church life... let's be people that gather and not scatter. There may be real scattering forces in the mix but we can be ones that have a 'seek and save' mentality because God sought us and saved us.