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Tuesday, September 5: Ephesians 4:4-6

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Ephesians 4:4-6

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

by: Brian Bethke

Our sniper teams were hidden, dispersed, and alertly guarding a dangerous stretch of road that had claimed the lives of numerous civilians and military members. For many months terrorists had coordinated, emplaced, and detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on a major highway in Iraq, and we had been tasked with protecting these roads with the hope of deterring further terrorist activity. This mission had come from the top and the assumption was that it had been coordinated with other friendly units. This assumption was soon put to the test as a platoon of friendly tanks drove through our area of operation.

As I saw the tank platoon driving down the road I attempted to call them on the coordinated radio frequency. They did not respond. I did not think much of it and figured they would travel by fairly fast. I had decided that upon my return to the base in a couple of days I would give their communication technician a ‘friendly’ reminder about proper radio procedures in a combat zone. As the platoon of tanks quickly exited my field of view, and my mind, I received a frantic call over the radio from one of the sniper teams. The team reported that one of the tanks had stopped in front of their covert sniper position and was beginning to lower their guns towards them. I quickly tried calling the tank platoon on the radio again. There was no answer! Seconds felt like days and I was on the verge of panic. Suddenly I heard the sweet sound of an FA-18 jet overhead. I quickly called the pilot who was able to relay the message to the tank platoon that we were a friendly force. It was later discovered that the tank platoon had not been told of our covert actions and were having radio issues on that particular frequency. Nonetheless unity was restored thanks to the diligent pilot.

Christians, let’s get real. Sometimes we don’t feel united in the church family. Sometimes we assume a level of understanding from others that does not exist. There are times when communication between the family members of our church is absent, one way, or deficient. There are even times when we mistake each other as the enemy. This puts us on the verge of panic, questioning and blame shifting.

Take heart and remember our Trinitarian God is intrinsically united and relationally sufficient. We enter this unity and relational bliss upon saving faith in Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit unity is restored, understanding is achieved, communication is edifying, and relational fratricide is transformed into relational harmony. We must remember that just like war family life can be messy and confusing. We must remember that where there is a valley of conflict there exists a mountain top of grace ready to be dispensed. We must remember that there is one Holy Spirit and we are not Him. Stop thinking about how you are going to correct and start thinking of how you can come along side and meet your family member where they are. We must remember that our relational actions must be mediated through, reflect the action of, and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. We must thank God for this precious gift of Christian community. Finally, we must remember that we are going to be with these people in community forever.

How do you view your Christian community?

 

Comments(3)

  1. Reply
    Dan Murphy says

    Great to weave our understanding of the Trinity into our need for relational healing and unity. The 3 persons of the Godhead have eternally been in a loving relationship with each other. Christ suffered physically on the cross, but he also endured the relational separation from the Father and the Spirit when he took our sins upon himself. As the hymn recounts:

    How great the pain of searing loss
    The Father turns his face away
    As wounds which mar the chosen one
    Bring many sons to glory

    We should remember that no estrangement or relational problem that we suffer in this life can compare with what Christ experienced on the cross in suffering for us, and his grace and love for us should motivate us to give of ourselves to reconcile with one another.

  2. Reply
    Brian says

    Thanks and Amen Dan!

  3. Reply
    Holly Carman says

    This one hits home for me right now. Thank you for the reminder that all of out actions (and reactions) are to be glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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