A United Community
May 8, 2023
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29
What do you picture when you think of church? Perhaps a specific place with people you recognize and a pattern of worship familiar to you. Maybe you picture a building with a steeple and a cross. Some of us may simply think of a group gathering for worship. Others yet may think first of Sunday mornings, an organ, and hymnals. All of these are good descriptions but they don’t quite grasp the full picture.
Far too often we think of church as one congregation or perhaps the local churches in our area. But the larger church, the church with a “capital C” or the “holy catholic church” as it is sometimes called is much greater. God’s church encompasses believers all over the globe. It is not defined by a specific building, denomination, or group, but it spans all time and places.
It includes formal congregations and groups of believers across the world gathering for worship in public, in private, and in hiding. Each believer is part of God’s church. As Galatians 3:26-29 says, the church includes all people who are God’s children. No matter our background, occupation, or living situation, we are a part of God’s family and united as his church.
Groups may worship differently, with different traditions, music, and language. But we are all united by one God as we read in Ephesians 4:4-6.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
It is through our unity in the Lord that the church breaks barriers of race, nationality, and economic status and makes community possible. What an amazing gift it is, to be a part of a community that is bigger than ourselves and that is united in love for our Heavenly Father. The church is a place of blessing and growth. A place to learn from one another’s differences and work together to bring God glory. It is through this community of believers, that God feeds us, humbles us and challenges us. And as Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, it is a privilege to be a part of that kind of community.
So, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on the church. Think about your own church but also the community of believers across the world. How is God growing your view of church? What can you learn from fellow believers in different places and contexts? How does this larger view of the church impact your faith walk?
Heavenly Father, We thank you for the gift of community and for your church. Thank you for the diversity in your church around the world and for the unity we have in you. May we take time to learn from one another and work together to bring you glory. It is in your son’s name we pray, Amen.
Blessings in your week,
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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