Christ’s death to “take away the sins of the world” is what we call in our every speak, a “game changer”. It reconciles “all things to God” and all things exist for His glory.
Gerhard Uhlhorn said “God enjoined on us Christians the sacrifice of (Mercy)not because he needs them but that we may not be unfruitful and unthankful.” The gifts that we give to one another, and the care we show for
the poor is a teaching tool. We learn the true meaning of the petition in the Lords Prayer, that we receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. Uhlhorn said “the whole life of a Christian is a festival, the continuous sacrifice, and the sacrifice consists on the one side in prayer and Thanksgiving, on the other in imparting of our substance to the needy”. This is a beautiful example of witness, mercy, and life together. As our witness to Christ in word and deed takes place, through the proclamation of the Gospel and the giving of the sacraments, Christians learn of the marvelous sacrifice of Christ for them. This impels them and teaches them to give of what they have to others; this leads to a “life together” of care and concern for each other in the body of Christ. This is the true “circle of life”. We learn of God’s great love for us through the church’s proclamation. We share the new life we have in acts of mercy and sacrifice for one another and those who are in need. The circle expands, the witness continues, the teaching is widened, the body of Christ becomes leaven and light in a world of darkness.
I saw many examples of this organic unity and marvelous operation of the Holy Spirit in the Evangelical Confessional Lutheran Church in the Dominican Republic this week. I have a lot to say about this and hope many of you will join in the conversation.
Gerhard Uhlhorn wrote “Christian Charity in the Ancient Church”. It is well worth a look.