For friends far away, and the neighborhoods they inhabit
For wisdom and understanding
Today’s text: Colossians 1:9-14
In his Treatise on Good Works, Luther wrote the following:
"[And we are] a House of Prayer, because in it we are a congregation with one accord to consider our need but also the needs of all, present them before God, and call upon him for mercy…[for our coming together] shows that we should make common prayer and petition for the whole community…"
Between Paul and Luther, we have two related points of guidance: the first is that we are privileged to pray for others and should encourage God to give to others what will best bless them. Our prayers should be taken up as much with the needs of others as with ourselves.
The second point shows the need for our common gathering, as together we are both the Body of Christ and we are the whole community, for all of the neighborhoods we touch become present in our assembly. The gathered People of God are a brake on our self-regard and encourage us to hold our neighbor dear as we seek God’s work in life. Our common gathering is not for our sake only, but for the sake of the world.
Both of these points are the more poignant in this current time, when prayer is so needed, and the community is disbanded. But do not cease from praying, as you are part of the Church, and do not cease from being gathered when the community is restored. The Church is for the sake of the world—and none of us are apart from the common hopes and fears of the world.
Easter joy ~ Pr. Brooks