We’re All In This Together

With malice toward no one; with charity for all.  – Abraham Lincoln

Unprecedented early voting numbers are flooding in. This is shaping up to be the greatest voter participation ever. The biggest question will be, however, how well will the citizenry handle the outcome? The strength of this democracy has always been that no matter how divided the country has been in an election, the partisan sides always come together by the inauguration of the newly elected President. This principle will be severely tested this year.

To borrow a phrase from Abraham Lincoln, who has been quoted a lot lately because of his leadership during another divided time in this nation’s history, this is a time to act “with malice toward no one; with charity for all.”

At our church service last night I pulled out one of my early songs and rejoiced at how relevant it was to this moment in history as well as this moment at the Catch Ministry.

We Are All Together

by John Fischer

Adam stood in the garden and

Thought that no one was watching, and

He was free to do whatever he pleased

No one would see

But he failed to see that he was part of

One humanity, and all who came after

Would suffer for their own selfish ways

All of their days

You can’t imagine that you have the right

To live your own life

Thinking you’re the only one

And no one will care what you do

You don’t live alone

We are all one in the Lord

You don’t sin alone

We must all bear the same load

You don’t live alone

We are all one in the Lord

You don’t sing alone

We must all sing the same chord

Don’t you know that we are all together

Don’t you know that we are all together

Don’t forget that we are all together

Remember we are all together

In the Lord

This week we are starting a series in keeping with this understanding that we all belong together because we are all members of the same body, and though we are each unique and different, we all belong to each other because of Christ.

While a prisoner in Rome, Paul wrote:

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians. 4:1-3.)

Paul taught the true nature and function of the church. It is not a human institution. It is not expected to devise its own strategy and set its own goals. It is not an independent organization, existing by means of the strength of its numbers. It is, rather, the church, a body of people called into a special relationship with God.

The question for us is this — Do we get it?  In the opening chapters of Ephesians, Paul makes several clear statements regarding the purpose of the church — and not merely its purpose for eternity, off in misty futurity, but its purpose right here, right now on “this side of eternity.” Given this, we really cannot surrender His message in favor of disinterest, retirement, or the pandemic’s fallout.   

We are planning to introduce a fundraising campaign this week in keeping with our understandings of Ephesians 4:1-3 and the plans for the church that follow verse 3. The campaign theme is, “This side of Eternity” so that everyone can recognize they belong to one another, and, should one choose, have a place in the Catch Ministry as a cyberchurch — not the church as it often is, but the church as it originally was. The church as it can be. And yes, the church as it must be again.

That’s the way He set it up.

“This Side of Eternity — ‘We’re All In This Together.’” Yes, the fundraising campaign is based on a song by the same title from the 2006 Disney movie, High School Musical.  Marti thinks she is going to get me to do the dance routine that goes along with the song “We’re All In This Together.” It’s not going to happen. I am not going to hurt myself over Marti’s challenge to me, and, by the way, to you. 

She wants you and me to shoot a short 3 minute video (or less) of ourselves doing the dance or waving our arms to the music.  She thinks, and on this I agree, we need a light-hearted moment in our overly heavy world right now.  Yet, she tells me, in its light-heartedness, the message is exactly what is needed most in this culture in which we live. We are not alone; we are one in the Lord. Everyone is special in their own way.  We make each other strong.  We’re not the same. We’re different in a good way. Together is where we belong.

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:4-5)

On this side of eternity, we’re all in this Together.

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