Daily Office Readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Epiphany: Year 1
“John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him.” (Mark 9:38 and 39a)
No Christian community holds a patent on the Name of our Lord Jesus. There are perhaps more and different Christian fellowships than any other faith tradition. It seems that as time moves on we tend to splinter more and more. We add names to our denominational names like, “New,” “Reformed,” “Protestant,” “Catholic,” “Seventh-Day,” and even Non-Denominational,” to mention a few. And while all have some good teachings, none may claim the absolute authority of our Lord Jesus.
Our Church history is replete with shameful acts. We have burned people at the stake, enslaved people, persecuted people, went to war against others (Christian and non-Christian alike). All of this we did in the Name of our Lord Jesus who would never do these kinds of things. What were we thinking?
It continues to be my prayer that we study and pray our way into reversing the trend to fracture. I pray that we may one day begin some sort of consolidation. There is one faith, one Baptism, and One Lord, Jesus Christ. I am on the Episcopal path of the Jesus movement. But I am willing to be in a conversation about a merging path with another community who is also casting out demons in the Name of Jesus. Jesus says that if we are doing good works in His name we are to be left alone. I never want to be so caught up in my “brand” that I lose sight of which way Jesus went.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John