July 29, 2009

one Lord, one faith, one baptism... a whole lot of ways to get there

I could probably link you to the blog of my friend and colleague, Jan, every day. She writes great stuff, and I pray that her book is one day finished and available for me to read. In the meantime, I look forward to her nuggets of wisdom every morning (and sometimes I cheat and read her new posts before I go to bed at night).

Anyway, all that to say, you need to read her latest post, More than 1 way of being a Christian? When you are done with that you need to read the Ephesians lesson for this Sunday, especially hear these two lines:

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all."

"The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ."

There is but one body and one Spirit. There is one hope. There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism. The is one God and Father of all. But we are called to that faith, that hope, that Father in many different ways. We experience that Spirit, that Lord in many different ways. We respond to, serve, and glorify the God and Father of all in many different ways. The end goal, of course, is perfection of understanding and knowledge, but rest assured we aren't getting there any time soon.

Today, I read Jan's post, then I read Ephesians, and now I'll pray for the humility to remember that I am not the one God and Father of all, that my faith tradition is not the one faith, and that my gifts as varied as they might be from yours might build up the body of Christ "until all of us... reach maturity." Amen.

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