God’s fourfold “Come!”

God calls us into fellowship: with Himself and with other people, for the future and right now, into a fellowship of life and suffering—and it all leads to eternal happiness. This is a mission all believers have in common.

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1: 9). This was the Bible text of a divine service on 7 June 2020 in Merlebach in France.

God is faithful. “That means that He is trustworthy, that He does what He says,” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said. We do not always see this because God not has yet fulfilled all of His promises. In retrospect, however, we recognise time and again that God is faithful.

What does this faithful God do? He calls us. That means: He chooses us, not the other way around. And He knows us better than we know ourselves and knows what we can accomplish with His help. Nonetheless, He allows us to freely choose to follow His call or not.

And what does God call us for? “He calls us to have eternal fellowship with Jesus Christ, our Lord.” He is in His kingdom with His Father, in His glory, the Chief Apostle said. “Jesus wants us to be where He is,” he added.

God calls us to share fellowship with Jesus already today, the fellowship of life. “We can be together through all of life’s circumstances.” And that means:

  • facing our own suffering as He did by struggling to remain in fellowship with God.
  • supporting Jesus in His mission to proclaim the gospel by doing good things.
  • not forgetting any of these tasks at any time, but making them our top priority.

God also calls us into the fellowship of the believers, into the Church, the Chief Apostle pointed out.

  • “The purpose of Christians is to be together and to act jointly: to pray together, to celebrate together, to work together.”
  • It is up to us to consolidate this unity, he said, by fighting the virus of discord: let us not spread rumours, let bygones be bygones, and let us talk about the good things and not the bad things.
  • Jesus expects His own to serve one another. “There must not be customers and suppliers: some come to enjoy and others are there to do the work. Everyone can contribute to the well-being of the community.”

Finally, God calls us to share in the fellowship of Holy Communion:

  • as a foretaste of the marriage supper of the Lamb.
  • to remind us that Christ shared everything with mankind, even suffering and death.
  • in order to receive the strength so that we can fight as He fought.
  • as a means to reinforce the fellowship of the faithful.

For the bread and wine is the same for all, and the celebration of Holy Communion is the same for all. “What would we do without fellowship? Thank You, Lord, for permitting me to be part of my fellowship.”

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Andreas Rother
Chief Apostle, Divine service