Friday of Lent 5, April 12, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”
Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.
The Catechism says that the mission of the Church “is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (Catechism, “The Church,” BCP 855). This is God’s purpose in Christ Jesus. Salvation looks like a restored unity between Creator and creation.
In our baptism, we are grafted on to Jesus’ human nature, and so taken up into the divine life in his divine nature.
In our eucharist, we grow ever more into the likeness of Christ as we offer ourselves week by week, and our gifts are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.
As we seek to bring our lives into line with God’s purposes as revealed in the Church, we begin to live that unity here and now with each other and with God. The eucharist is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet to which all the peoples are invited.
The way we live together in the Church provides a model for how we finite, error-prone, messy human beings can participate in the divine life. Our life together shines forth to the world as what God intends for the world.
What difference did Church make in your life this week? How have you been restored?
How would someone visiting your Church for the first time know that the life of this motley group is what God hopes for all humanity?
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you, bring the nations into your fold, pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(16. For the Mission of the Church, BCP 257)