Today’s Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6
Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 1:1-18; Matthew 5:1-20
Bearing with one another in love… (Ephesians 4:2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You are not alone. We are all in this together. These are not empty platitudes or meaningless slogans. This is the truth. We confess together that we believe in one holy, Christian/catholic, and apostolic Church. There are not many churches, but one, because there is one Lord, one faith, and one Baptism. This is the way it has always been and always will be.
People sometimes mistakenly say that they were baptized Lutheran or Methodist. There is no unique Lutheran Baptism, because there is only one Baptism into Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church. This is why you do not need to be rebaptized if you move to a different town and join another congregation. Not only don’t you have to be rebaptized, but you will find a family waiting for you. You will find a congregation of people who bear with one another in love. You will find people who will bear your burdens and love you.
You can find a similar sort of unity in many places. Sometimes people pursue this unity and fellowship in sports or other activities. For instance, we find affinity with people who are fans of the same sports teams, or even just the same sport. Rugby fans have a natural fellowship based on a game that has been around since 1823. But when was the last time you found people who loved one another because of their love of fox tossing, chariot racing, or club swinging? Those sports have all vanished, but used to be very popular. We have something better and more permanent in Christ.
The Church has been in existence since the beginning of time. By finding your unity within the Church of Christ, you are being established for eternity. Sports are good, but there will be a day when hockey and football are as popular as jousting is today. In fact, the unity which we pursue in other things is a product of the way that the Lord has designed us to love one another. Yet, it is a pale reflection of the unity we find in the Church.
The Church is forever because Christ is forever. We bear with one another in this Church, through good and bad, wins and losses, ups and downs, and whatever life will throw at us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth; her charter of salvation; one Lord, one faith, one birth. One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses with every grace endued. (“The Church’s One Foundation” LSB 644, st.2)
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch