Unity

An excerpt from How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp

What is going on in this strange encounter? Abram is struggling to believe God, so God helps him. He tells him to cut some animals in half. That night, a smoking firepot and a blazing torch pass between the animal halves. God was saying, “If I do not keep my promise to you, may what happens to these animals happen to me!” This is called a self-maledictory oath. God is saying, “If I don’t keep my end of the bargain, may I be ripped asunder! Over two thousand years later, God the Son hung on a cross, crying out, “My God! My God! Why have we been ripped asunder?” God allowed what should have happened to us to happen to Jesus. We were the ones who failed, yet the triune God was torn asunder so that we might be united to him and to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. The perfect love, unity, and joy that existed between the Father, Son and Spirit were demolished, for a time, for our sake.

This is the ground on which we build our relationships. Every time you are tempted to shun another believer, remember that the Father, Son, and Spirit were torn asunder so that you might be united. When you sin or are sinned against, you are to move towards your sibling in Christ aware that Father, Son, and Spirit were torn asunder so that you might be reconciled! If we approached relationships in the body of Christ with that in view, it would transform our friendships. In Ephesians 4, Paul says that to the degree you do this, you will be “built up” (v.12), “become mature” (v.13), and “grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (v.15).

Everything each person of the Trinity is and does is always in union with the others. We were made in the image of this glorious God. Is it any wonder, then, that this deep longing for intimacy and relationships is woven into the fabric of out nature? Human beings long to connect because that is what they were made for. With the entrance of sin, this longing was corrupted and easily becomes idolatrous. Because of sin, we long to find all of our hope for relationships in other human beings. If we don’t get what we want out of those relationships, we often do hurtful, sinful things. Our approach to relationships is often self-centered.

But God is a redeeming God who does something utterly amazing to reconcile us to himself and others. The gospel opens the door to friendships where we can be conformed into the very image of Christ. When talking about the new community, the church, Paul clearly has this in view. In Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul turns from talking about our great salvation to chapters 1-3 to the new human community we have been brought into. He begins to instruct the church about the practical outworking of the gospel in everyday life and relationships.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit though the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:1-6)

A delayed Wedding

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I was blessed to have the opportunity to take photographs of Marc and Joellen’s wedding this past Saturday. The wedding was beautiful and everything went very smoothly, the 2nd time around. They were actually supposed to have gotten married last Saturday but the groom was hospitalized the night before his wedding day because he had appendicitis. Those are the kind of things you can’t predict.

Heartbeat

Yesterday was my first appointment. I wasn’t quite prepared to handle so much information and tasks to accomplish in such a short period of time. If you are unaware of the routine, here is how my appointment went…they give you a ton of paperwork to fill out, the nurse then asks you tons of questions as well as weighing you, writing down your blood pressure and asking for a urine sample. After the nurse leaves, the nurse practitioner/midwife comes in and asked more questions before she has me get undressed for the sonogram and annual exam. The sonogram was the best part because my husband and I were able to see the heartbeat and the little blog/baby/miracle that is growing inside my womb. The midwife also measured the baby and said it looks as though I’m 7 weeks along which means my due date is December 19th, 2007. After both exams the midwife asked us more questions as well as giving us a binder of pregnancy info, our sonogram picture, paperwork to give to the front desk and then sending me off to the lab for some blood work. There was one one other couple in the lab, so I was able to get my blood work done within 10 minutes (Thank God!). Overall the experience was overwhelming, but amazing. I have to say I was a little skeptical about the care I may get at Kaiser, but the receptionist, nurses and midwife at Kaiser were great and really made me feel welcome. I think that makes all the difference in the whole world. Praise Jesus!