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“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:  just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples,

if you have love for one another.” – Jesus speaking, John 13:34-35

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

– 1 John 4:7-8 

“With it [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.

My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” – James 3:9-10

(All quotations taken from the Holy Bible – English Standard Version) 

How we treat each other… 

         Greetings in the name of Christ!  As you and I consider the Bible passages above—first of all—behold, and receive, once again the amazing grace and unconditional love that continues to be poured out upon us through the life-giving Word of God!  Undeserved by me, by all…but flowing in unending streams through God’s Word, Holy Baptism, the Lord’s Supper.  Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

     And, second, I’m giving you a look into my heart.  For a number of months, I’ve been praying and pondering the importance of how we treat each other.  As the Body of Christ, with Jesus as our Head, it is of utmost importance.  Not only for healthy “Body life”, but also—according to Christ—vital for our witness to the community in which we live.

     While on vacation this summer, I beheld something I’ve seen more times than I can remember.  Two congregations, only a mile or two apart, but separated by chasms created in past generations.  A fight among the followers of Christ.  The reality is that today, few can remember enough to articulate the facts of the original feud.  But the rift continues…there is no encouragement and/or partnership in ministry together.  “They do their thing; we do ours.”

     And then I came home, encouraged more than ever to be better at how I treat members of my Cross Lutheran family—and to encourage you to do the same.  Paul wrote:  “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)  Simply stated:  we cannot justify or rationalize setting aside treating others in a Christ-like way because we’re hurt, angry, or frustrated. 

     Are we now, or will we ever be, without sin and/or conflict of some kind?  On this side of the grave, of course not.  But that does not mean that we get to set aside the clear Word of God on the subject of being forgiving to one another, being united with one another, at peace with one another, and seeking to build up one another.  And where does the strength to do that come from!?  The Body of Christ, gathered on Sunday mornings, to receive God’s gifts, grace, and power to live in Christ-like ways!  To be on the walk of faith, treating others like Christ Jesus treats us!  I urge you to join me on this journey!  It’s a great one! 

     Paul wrote:  “Let love be genuine.  Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor.”  Romans 12:9-10  To that godly end, I’ll see you in church! Pastor Don Fraker


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