Celebrating Life Together
*This Sunday marks Freemason Street’s anniversary celebration of 170 years in worship, ministry, and service in the name of the Lord Jesus. Join us as we mark this singular day of thanksgiving, beginning with fellowship breakfast at 9:30 a.m. through pot luck lunch after morning worship.
The psalmist wrote, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations” (Ps. 100:5). God’s steadfast love and faithfulness make possible the life we share and the depth of care and compassion by which we are made ready to love one another and to love God’s world.
In, Life Together: A Discussion of Christian Fellowship, a reflection composed, in part, during wartime, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote it this way:
“It is by the grace of God that a congregation is permitted to gather visibly in this world to share God’s Word and sacrament. Not all Christians receive this blessing. The imprisoned, the sick, the scattered lonely, the proclaimers of the Gospel in far off lands stand alone. They know that visible fellowship is a blessing. They remember, as the Psalmist did, how they went ‘with the multitude … to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept the holyday’ (Ps. 42:4) … The heavenly fellowship, shared by exile[s] … the physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer.”
“The prisoner, the sick person, the Christian in exile sees in the companionship of a fellow Christian a physical sign of the gracious presence of the triune God. Visitor and visited in loneliness recognize in each other the Christ who is present in the body; they receive and meet each other as one meets the Lord, in reverence, humility, and joy … how inexhaustible are the riches that open up for those who by God’s will are privileged to live in the daily fellowship of life with other Christians!”
No church is perfect, because no person is perfect. The love of God revealed in Christ, though? That is another matter. God has chosen to make God’s nature known through Christ and through Christ in his church. That is a humbling truth. It can become a healing truth. It is an amazing truth worth celebrating.
Grace and peace,