Our Synod’s president. Rev. Matthew C. Harrison writes about our Life Together with Jesus as a life marked by bearing witness together to Christ, and having compassion upon those within and without the fellowship of this orthodox Lutheran faith. Partnership in the Gospel
Our “life together” is a gift from our Lord. Pastor William Weedon on the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau Forum recently wrote about how the Blessed Trinity establishes the Sacraments to create and sustain the Church. Christ’s words give what they promise because they are Christ’s words, and the result is that the Church is brought into existence and sustained.
We have a life together because Christ’s Word in baptism has shaped us into a family and that family life in the Church is fed and supported through the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation promised through the Lord’s Supper.
Life together as a gift is witnessed by the disciples when they gather in the upper room, locked in fear. Jesus appears to them and gives them peace and breathes on them the promise of the Holy Spirit. Thomas, a disciple, who also called the Twin, was not there that night. The disciples shared with him, “We have seen the Lord.”
Thomas did not believe the disciples and he needed to see with his own eyes the Lord. The next week Jesus again appeared to the disciples and this time Thomas was with them. Jesus invited Thomas to see the wounds in his hands and his pierced side. Thomas believed.
The disciples lived a life together of peace and confidence because Jesus shared with them the peace of His resurrection. The disciples continued to meet and did not wall off Thomas from their fellowship, but gave Thomas space to believe.
Our witness to Jesus in this world is not about creating faith in others. The disciples could not give birth to faith in Thomas, only God can do the birthing of faith. The disciples that as they shared the good news of the Gospel that the spirit would be at work creating saving faith in Thomas.
Our life together becomes strained and broken when we try to live together apart from the mercy of Jesus. Our life together will endure and be daily restored in the joy of the forgiveness of sins.
I enjoy the opportunity to witness to the mercy of God when pursuing our life together.