Thursday, July 16, 2015

Together ~ One Lord, One Faith

Paul, while in prison writes to the Christians in Ephesus, lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 NLT

The word community identifies a group that shares common interests or beliefs, and in Ephesians the characteristics of unity identify the behaviors of a Christian community. These examples of daily conduct should be visible inside and outside of the community. While differences exist, division should not be the outcome, rather unity with a bond of peace. The definition of 'church' is the body of believers with Christ being the center. Both the individual and collective church should seek God's will and purpose, just as each member of its body. God has designed humanity to be relational, people in relationship with each other, people in relationship with God. The mutual prayers and support of Christian community enhance discernment.

Paul reminds this community (verse 4-5), "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope...one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father...". From the moment of Pentecost, the church of Jesus Christ becomes one body of believers, united in one faith, redeemed by one Grace, loved by one God. Chosen by God, we are His children, called to be representatives of His House, of His Truth, His Kingdom. From accountability to encouragement, from listening to praying, the body of Christ should champion each other in the understanding of God's purpose. The process of discernment needs community, as well as solitude. Called to live a life worthy of God's calling, community becomes the Christian's support system, friends, family, together serving one Lord, one faith in Jesus Christ. Embrace community! ~ dho

** in two weeks: Ministry, as we explore Henri Nouwen"s three areas of "Spiritual Living": solitude, community, and ministry .