April 8, 2019
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved
…bearing with one another…
Bearing With One Another
Bearing with one another is one of God’s greatest commandments:
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-39)
It is also written bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
Jesus’ willingness to bear with his disciples overwhelms me. His disciples not only included fishermen like Peter and John, (Mark 1:16-20) but also included Matthew, a tax collector and Judas Iscariot, a thief (John 12:1-7). Tax collectors were often considered corrupt and called sinners by the Pharisees and Judas became Jesus’ traitor.
How could Jesus bear with such people and with us and even die for our sins? Jesus was able to bear with them because he saw the imperfection in mankind, he forgave and loved them over and over again. He taught them also to learn from him and bear with each other. He taught them to forgive, as we pray in the Lord’s Prayer − Our Father in heaven… forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us… and to forgive our neighbor seventy times seven.
After Jesus’ ascension his disciples gathered together with one accord and prayed until they were filled with the Holy Spirit as Jesus had promised them. Then, they were able to spread the Word of God. Their behavior earned them the name “Christians,” that is, being like Christ and bearing with others. (Acts 11:19-26)
As Christians, do we bear with others? Do others see in us, the light the Antiochians saw in the disciples? (In our workplaces and in our daily activities?) It is not only the preaching of the Word but also our behavior, that will bring others to God.
Especially to our fellow church members, do we bear with each other and carry each others’ burdens? If not let us start now, For, it is only by bearing with each other that there will be oneness in the church and a pouring down of the Holy Spirit. People will see the light in us as was seen in the disciples who went to Antioch.
Prayer: Our Lord and Holy Father, although your disciples failed to understand how to bear with one another as you taught them, they were able to gather with one accord and receive the Holy Spirit. During this Lenten season, please give us ears to hear your Word and Christ-like love to bear with one another. We ask that you bring oneness to our congregation and the pouring down of your Holy Spirit on us. To be like you Jesus, that is all we want. In your mighty name we pray. Amen.