Week 25 Saturday

All for One

Today’s scripture selection: Ephesians 4-6

Key verse: Ephesians 4:3-6

Do you remember the catchy phrase the Three Musketeers would shout as they raised their swords in salute?

“One for all; all for one!”

The apostle Paul lived a long time before that phrase was popularized in the novel by Alexandre Dumas about swash-buckling swordsmen.  But he would have appreciated the phrase and the sentiment.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says they should make “every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

I can only imagine what Paul would think of the fragmented mess the worldwide Church has become.

We don’t seem to be very good about finding common ground and common purpose when it comes to the faith.  Holy wars are always ugly affairs; Christians killing other Christians over their “version” of the faith is particularly heinous.

But it doesn’t just happen at the international level.

It’s personal too.

As people of faith, we are called to find that common ground with others.  While we must never compromise truth for mere “getting along” we are called to remember that God calls us all to love one another, just as we have been loved.

And that can be a very tricky thing to do.

Nevertheless, I don’t think Paul would let us off the hook on this one.  It’s sort of a deal-breaker.

Either we believe in the most basic, fundamental, concept of the faith or we don’t.  We either put our money where our mouth is or we don’t

Love isn’t just a nice idea.  It’s a sacred calling.

So – Musketeers unite – “One for all; all for one!”

It’s the way to understanding, peace, mission, and purpose.

Prayer: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace and unity, in Christ’s name.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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