Contributed by Paul Henrickson, Salem, VA
These are some Lutheran bodies in the United States. What do you know about them? Can you explain the primary differences between them:
The St. Mark’s Church and Life Center of Marion, Iowa, (along with its pastor) has been removed from the roster of ELCA Lutheran Churches. St. Mark’s attempted to associate with both the ELCA and the LCMC. In news accounts, different interpretations of the situation have emerged. Read this news story and respond to the following questions
(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year C at Lectionary Readings.)
For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.
John 17 is the “High Priestly” Prayer of Jesus. The whole prayer might be separated into three parts: vs 1-5 are about Jesus and His Father; vs 6-19 are about Jesus and the Disciples; vs 20-26 are about the unity of the church. “That all may be one” has been the theme of countless conferences and programs about Christian unity. Despite all the energy for unity, Christianity remains more like a stained glass window than a cross-etched, clear glass window on the world.
The key phrase is “…that they may all be one.” This article in this study uses the Lutheran Church as an example of church disunity; but the larger focus is on the whole Christian community. The question should not be what separates us, but what binds us together.
God our Father, your Son Jesus prayed that his followers might be one. Make all Christians on with him as he is one with you, so that in peace and concord we may carry to the world the message of your love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 61)