April 18th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
Over the past several years I have noticed that a member of our family has not been coming to family events. His wife comes with their child, but he is predictably absent each time. When we visit them at their home, he is cordial, personable, and warm. However, when the family is together as a group, he is never present. Recently I asked his wife if there was a reason that he no longer came to family events. Indeed, there was a reason. It happens that a few years ago a discussion among family members concerning a particular political topic was raised. Opinions were debated and discussed surrounding the topic. However, when he shared his view, he was roundly rejected and even shamed by another member of the family. This interaction was very hurtful to him and he determined that he would never chance being so ill-treated again.
It is a shame. The bonds of family are supposed to thicker than either political opinion or personal sensitivities. However, in this particular case, an unthoughtful rebuke and a sensitive constitution led to a breaking of fellowship.
Within the Church, there is a continual threat of disunity and the breaking of fellowship. There is no lack of heartbreaking stories of church splits fueled by the most seemingly small of issues. Yet there are also thousands of untold stories of individuals and families who have quietly slipped away from the body of Christ because relationships became too tense, awkward, or confused.
Over the past year, there has been no lack of fracture points within the body of Christ. The Coronavirus and the subsequent response of governments and institutions have created a level of tension within the body of Christ that I have never witnessed prior to this time. And the different opinions that people hold and express create opportunities for division and the breaking of the bonds of Christian fellowship.
In our passage for this Sunday, the Apostle Paul addresses the ground for our unity. Within the Galatian churches, there was a great threat to the oneness of the body of Christ. This fracture had already manifested itself in the separation between Jews and Gentiles and it was threatening to further split apart these young churches. In this situation, Paul explains that our unity within the body of Christ is not centered on race, status, or gender. Rather our unity is based upon our one faith, our one baptism, and our one family in Christ. To come prepared for the sermon take time this week to read and to meditate upon Galatians 3:26-29, John 17:11, Ephesians 4:1-6, and WCF 12.
As we gather to worship our loving Father this Lord’s day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above”, the Acclamation of Praise “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” and the Hymn of Response “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!
Text: Galatians 3:26-29
Title: One Family
- United by One Faith (v. 26)
- United by One Baptism (v. 27)
- United in One Family (vv. 28-29)