16/01/2017 12:00 pm
Lord Jesus Christ,
the same, yesterday, today and for ever.
Heal the wounds of our past,
bless our pilgrimage towards unity today
and guide us into your future,
when you will be all in all,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.
|2 Corinthians 5:17||Everything old has passed away|
|Genesis 19:15-26||Don’t look back|
|Psalm 77: 5-15||God is always faithful|
|Philippians 3: 7-14||Forgetting what lies behind|
|Luke 9:57-62||Keep your hand on the plough|
We often live out of the past. Looking back can be helpful, and is often necessary for the healing of memories. It can also paralyze us and prevent us from living in the present. Paul’s message here is liberating: “everything old has passed away”.
The Bible encourages us to keep the past in mind, to draw strength from our memories, and to remember what good God has done. However, it also asks us to leave the old, even what was good, in order to follow Christ and live a new life in him.
During this year, the work of Martin Luther and other reformers is being commemorated by many Christians. The Reformation changed much in the life of the Western Church. Many Christians showed heroic witness and many were renewed in their Christian lives. At the same time, as scripture shows, it is important not to be limited by what happened in the past, but rather to allow the Holy Spirit to open us to a new future in which division is overcome and God’s people is made whole.
What could we learn by reading together the history of our divisions and mutual mistrust?
What must change in my church so that divisions can be overcome and that which unites can be strengthened?