“Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4; 15-16
I have learned a lot about bodies during my 40 years in medicine. For a body to be healthy and functioning at its best, it needs all of its various organs and parts to be in place and working closely together. When parts are missing due to disease or injury, or when the various organ systems stop working together, the body suffers.
The same can be said of the body of Christ. We are all parts of that body. We all have important functions to perform within the body of Christ and within the body of worshipers we call Apostles Lutheran. We gather together each week. We gather around God’s word. We gather at His table. We gather at the font. We are fed, and then return to the world to do God’s work. When we fail to come together as one in worship, our church body continues to function, but we are not as strong or as healthy as we could be.
Therefore, in that spirit of unity, I am reaching out to all those members of our church body who have not been able to join with us on recent Sundays. Know that you are missed. Your presence with us enhances our worship and strengthens the unity we have with the body of Christ. Come! Join with us again!
In that same spirit, your church council has made some recent decisions to help foster unity and oneness in our worship service. We have decided to continue with one combined worship service on Sunday mornings. Having 2 worship services, by definition, immediately divides us in two. We lose that sense of community and oneness, and the body suffers. God willing, there may come a point in the future when we grow so large that we are forced to divide, but we are not at that juncture yet. We are one body. Let us worship as one.
Your council has also decided to change to alcohol free wine for communion. There are members of our body, who for personal or health reasons, cannot consume alcohol. We want all of our members to be able to participate fully in our worship every Sunday. We gather as one, and we should worship as one.
Change is never easy. Coming together as one always involves some compromise on our part. But the reward is that we become stronger as a body and are therefore better able to serve our risen Lord.
As Paul said to the Corinthians, “God has put the body together, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.” Come, let’s gather together!