We come to our second part of our Church Covenant, which states:
We purpose to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember one another in prayer, to help one another in sickness and distress, and to cultivate Christian compassion and courtesy.
Paul echoes these words in Galatians four when he writes:
13 For ye — to freedom ye were called, brethren, only not the freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through the love serve ye one another,
14 for all the law in one word is fulfilled — in this: `Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself;’
Though we as individuals are part of the universal Church bought by the blood of Jesus, we are active members of a local congregation of that Universal Church. To be a member is to be part of something greater than ourselves; greater than our families. To be a member of a local Church is to be a member of something that will last for all eternity.
It is then simple to understand why we echo Paul’s words in Galatians. It is true that we will not perform all these things perfectly, but it is also true that we are to strive to love one another, to pray for one another, to help in times of need, and to show compassion and courtesy. The Church succeeds when these elements are stressed and applied by God’s people.
Again, I wish to stress that Church Membership gives you no excuse to sit passively. During this Lenten Season, we have even greater opportunities to express this Christian virtue of service to others. Why do members of Providence strive to live in this way? Because as Christ-followers, we are imitators of the One who served us even to the point of death. How shall they know we are Christ’s disciples? When we love one another. May we do these things for the sake of Christ and His body.
Prayer: Merciful Christ, build us up in love that we might serve one another. May the love of service increase in us during this Season, and may your Church mature in these virtues through Christ our Lord. Amen.