Last summer I was part of a life-changing event. The group included Orthodox Christians as well as Lutherans, Roman Catholics, protestants and non-denominational folks. They were liturgical and charismatic. Politically they were left… right and moderate. The differences were many and great, but I really have no idea what all the differences were/are. Our differences did not come up. You see our theme was That the Love of Jesus Might Exceed All Divisions, and that was our focus.
John Armstrong is the man in the middle of this (and a consultant to Project XII). Long story short, John was an evangelical pastor convicted as he confessed the Apostles Creed one Sunday morning. The voice in his heart said, “one holy catholic and apostolic church- do you really believe that?”.
Since that awakening over twenty-five years ago John has reached out, and befriended, leaders and members of the vast variety of Christian expressions. That has sparked a movement that has led to the formation of The Initiative. Our covenant is as faithful people from all backgrounds to live in intentional initiative, practicing deep and growing friendship with God and others, that the love of Jesus might exceed all divisions.
As a denominational person, I have often focused on the differences with other Christians. But as I practice this covenant, the focus is on the common love of Jesus Christ and with that there is even an appreciation of why there are differences.
So here is your assignment for the week: Get together with two or three folks of different Christian expressions this next week, talk about what you have in common – and be open to where that leads you.
– Doug Haugen, Lutheran Men in Mission
Prayer: God, your church is much bigger than I could ever imagine. It includes people with practices I sometimes don’t understand. May you Holy Spirit work in me so that love of You exceeds all divisions. In Your Holy Name, Amen