Monday, First Week in Lent

by Matthew B. Harper

1 Corinthians 1:10 – Now I appeal to you … by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.

There are many divisions within the church today. These divisions are not much understood, and it seems strange to non-Christians that we divide ourselves into denominations. We have so many “non”-denominational groups that they have become their own denomination. In prison there is no greater rift in Christianity than between the Catholics and the Protestants. Both groups seem to take a perverse pleasure in denying the Christianity of the other group. Within the Anglican Communion we have seen much upheaval in the last forty years, and much division.

This seems to stand in such sharp contrast to the words of Paul, who urges us to stand together in the faith and have no divisions among ourselves. And when groups come from the outside I see this truth in their ministry to the men in here. The styles of worship and the words they use to describe their relationship with God may vary, but their love and ministry in the work of the Lord do not vary. They stand firm on the promises of Christ, and minister in God’s Love, and the men in here see the truth in that. There may not always be unity of sentiment, but there is unity of affection.

When it really comes down to what the truth is, we stand united in God’s Love. And that is what Paul was talking about.

From all blindness of heart; and pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all want of charity, Good Lord, deliver us.” BCP149

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