S (Scripture): 1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
O (Observation): Factions in the church again. Paul reminds the early church that only one thing matters…Christ, and him crucified.
A (Application): Not that works of faith don’t matter…just that the one thing that unites us all is Christ, and him crudicfied.
We’ve added lots of layers over the years, creating thousands of divisions within Christianity. Paul imagined a much simpler way: believe that Christ was crucified for you, for me. In this way, we can see that we are part of ONE body.
In this year, the 500th anniversay of the Reformation, many of the efforts are set towards showing how we as Lutherans (of the ELCA) are striving towards fuller participation with the Roman Catholic Church. One such show of progress is the document: Declaration on the Way.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website states: “The heart of the Declaration is the Statement of Agreements. On church, ministry and Eucharist, the Declaration draws together a litany of 32 consensus statements, where Catholics and Lutherans already have said there are not church-dividing differences between them.” (The website for this summary is here.) This page also contains a Executive Summary of the declaration.
To read the full “Declaration” document, click here.
For more information about activities for the ELCA’s commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, go here.
May we know full unity.
P (Prayer): Lord, simplify things for us, that we might know the full expanse of your being. Amen.