Thursday, July 23, 2009
On Striving for Christian Unity
How great is our need for an increase of charity, especially when it comes to the household of God. All of us need look more carefully to the sanctification at work in our own life by the Holy Spirit. Our calling to be one in Christ Jesus is in his person, the fullness of God revealed to us. As with Paul, we need to look to the Gospel first preached and not even if Paul should come preaching a new Gospel. If we are to find this unity, we need to turn to the Word of God incarnate as made known to us in Holy Scripture and his Bride, the holy Church—one, catholic and apostolic.
The oneness of the Church is only found in Jesus Christ and any division of fellowship impairs its visibility and operability to be catholic and apostolic. Likewise our division of fellowship distorts our vision of Church authority when members of the body hold themselves apart or to be whole without the full fellowship of the body. So we need to look to God’s self-revelation which is agreed upon all—the authority and reliability of Holy Scripture. It is from the Word of God that unity of the Body springs forth as two or three Christians gathered manifest the presence of Christ because it is inherent in His Holiness, in His Being, not in ours.
For all of Anglicanism problems and failures, I believe it offers a gift to all Christians in its tenet that we hold no doctrine unique to Anglicanism, that is to say, as Anglicans we will only hold to those things believe and practiced by the whole of the Church. What is so sad of our unhappy division is we fail to see how vast is breadth of what we hold in common and how small are those things tend to overwhelm and steer us to further apart.
We must have greater commitment to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It should incumbent upon us to look always to Christ and the love of the brethren. We all need to confess our need to repent for every failure to look first to Christ, personally, in our local fellowship, and in our wider fellowship. It is only in restoring our relationships one to another, as ministers of reconciliation, will sanctification bring us into the reality of the mystical union of the Triune God.
How great is our God!