True Fellowship

     This month let us meditate on the one true God who desires a deep, abiding and constant fellowship with His creation: you, me and mankind.  God’s love and fellowship was betrayed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden but He promised them He would provide a savior who would defeat the evil one, restoring man into a deep, abiding and eternal fellowship with Himself (Genesis 3:14 – 15).  God’s promise manifested itself in the incarnation of His only begotten Son two thousand years ago: Jesus the Christ. 


     The Lord stands in stark contrast with the gods that are the creations of man’s imagination and promoted by the evil one.  Let us look at the Lord’s abiding with His people during the exodus and their demand for a king.  Then let us look at His abiding with His people during the life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus the Christ.

With a mighty arm and outstretched hand God delivered His people from the slavery and tyranny of Pharaoh and his slave masters (Exodus 5 – 14).  Jehovah displayed wonderous and mighty works in their presence (Exodus 12: 29 – 14: 31) and yet they bristled, complained and rebelled in His presence (Exodus 15: 22 – 17: 7; 32).  God abided with His ungrateful His people throughout the 40 years of wilderness wandering during which time He raised up and brought forth a new Israel led by Joshua.  He led His children into the land He promised to their fathers, fought and gave them victory over their foes, and settled them within their assigned lands. Yet, they soon despised, discounted and discarded God’s kingship, demanding to be ruled like all the other nations (1 Samuel 8).  God never abandoned His chosen people while they repeatedly sought any god but Him.

     In the fullness of time, a thousand years later, the promised Savior arrived, dwelt among His people and embarked on His ministry of preaching, teaching and healing.  God delivered His people from the slavery and tyranny of sin, death and the power of the devil with a mighty arm and an outstretched hand: Jesus the Christ.  The rabbi from Nazareth spoke many wonderous words and did many mighty works in the presence of the religious leaders and the people.  Jewish leaders and people bristled, complained, and rebelled against Him as they denied His fellowship because He ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners while claiming to be God (Matthew 9: 11; Luke 15:2; Matthew 26: 63; John 19:7).  Yet, the Good Shepherd fellowshipped, instructed, and healed both those who believed in Him and those who refused to believe in Him for three years, raising up true sons and daughters of God while exposing children of the devil.  Then, He opened wide the kingdom of God with His innocent suffering and death upon the cross (Matthew 8: 11; Romans 5: 10) and God validated it with His resurrection and glorious ascension to the right hand of God the Father Almighty (Romans 8: 34; Hebrews 1: 3).  


     Immanuel, the Son of God and Son of Man, promises He will abide both with us and all God’s children here on earth unto the Last Day (Matthew 28: 20) and with all the faithfully departed there in heaven for eternity (Revelation 7: 9 – 12).  This is the present reality for us here at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and all God’s holy ones in the church militant as it is for His holy ones in the church triumphant.  He holds us firmly and lovingly in His nail-scarred hand, assuring you and me that no one is able to snatch us out of either His or the Father’s hand (John 10: 28 – 30).  Therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit may we faithfully embrace and hold fast to God’s fellowship as we pass through the tribulation of this world (John 16: 33) and into our heavenly Father’s house where we will feast at His table forever.


Amen and Amen.