Forty Days of Prayer March 14

God always wants His people to live together in unity and harmony.  In fact that is the first part of this very short Psalm that deals with all o God’s people being united.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. (Psalm 133)

My thoughts and prayers turned to this topic this morning because yesterday we had a huge event in the realm of Christianity with the election of a new Pope.  First I would like to offer my prayers to Pope Francis and that he carry out the ministry with faithfulness and joy. The one drawback of being in upper administration in any church is you spend too much time dealing with all of the problems.  As a regular Pastor, I spend a lot of time dealing with the great joys in life like births, weddings and anniversaries. The Roman Catholic church is the largest part of the Christian church.  One of the questions I am asked very often is about the various groups of Christianity and what separates them?   In many ways Lutherans are very similar to Roman Catholics but the crucial issue has always been justification, or how we are made right with God in Jesus.  Lutherans have always emphasized the point that the perfection and standing of Jesus is what God gives us in His Son.  Faith is the lifeline that holds on to the grace that God gives us.  In this way Lutherans emphasize the all powerful work of Jesus. 

On the other side some emphasize the works of faith and stresses their part in salvation.  Lutherans would emphasize good works are a consequence of God’s grace not a cause for God being gracious with us.  I have found in dealing with Catholics they have more of a guilt driven theology wondering if they have done enough.  On the other side Lutherans can go to the extreme of doing too little or nothing and making grace cheap.  I always like talking to Roman Catholics and telling them about the incredible message of the cross, however they often say that sounds too easy or too good to be true.  One thing I always do is pray for them and that we all get along, and that is what Jesus wants.  In John 17:21 Jesus prays, “for all of the believers of the world and that all of them may be one.”   My final point is usually we share the same Creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian) and even more the same Jesus.

In Christ’s Service, Pastor Dave

Heavenly Father, you ask us to pray for all people but especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Lord, help us to be united in all that we do and say.  May we in our lives make a testimony to the wonders of Your love for us all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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