The Lutheran Church of Saint Mark
I write today to affirm that God’s love is available to everyone, and that God’s love unites us and bring us together into one body of believers.
There is no hierarchy or sects, divisions or cliques, special interest groups or order of degrees that exist in the kingdom of God, only children of God. We are all one family equally loved, equally redeemed, equally forgiven, equally and fully made whole.
But there are those who would have us think differently. There are those who believe Jesus came not to make us one, but to divide us; to separate us into groups, believers here and non-believers there. And even more so, there are true believers and false believers. I am sure you remember the first Christians were Jews. But then after Pentecost, Greeks, and gentiles from all over the world, started believing in Jesus’ saving grace, too. The challenges started immediately. Could gentiles be saved, and if so, must they become like Jews in order to be true believers? If Jesus Christ was a Jew, then surely it is one’s Jewishness that mattered. Men needed to be circumcised, while dietary and purity laws were followed. It would not be right, it would not be fair, if all believers were not cut from the same cloth.
No, it did not take long for the very laws and walls separating people while Jesus was alive – walls that he consistently broke through and tore down – were quickly rebuilt by the very people who cheered when Jesus came through with his wrecking ball.