Lord's Day Liturgy

All My “Russian” Friends

There are a number of things I don’t know a lot about or have very much personal experience with. But I do have some skin in the game, and what’s more, I am charged as a minister with the message of reconciliation between God and men with consequences for unity (not uniformity) among God’s people.

It is a unique part of God’s providence that He has brought me into friendship with so many Russians. It turns out, not all my Russian friends are “Russian,” many are Ukrainian. I met them as part of the same Slavic churches, and they seemed to share more in common with each other than with me in terms of language and food and expectations from the older generation. I have learned some more about the the tensions, conflicts, wars, and it is a sign of God’s great grace that He has reconciled so many.

How much more conflict and tension and temptations to divide could we get? Supply chain problems are bad, but not as interpersonal. We don’t have any Afghanis among us. Masks and vaccine mandates are touchier, and yet by God’s grace we’ve been able to hold onto more of what we’re for than what we’re against.

So I don’t know all the things about the current conflict, but I do know that in Christ, who is also Lord of that history, we have hope. Even the Jews and Gentiles were united in one body (Ephesians 2:16). Nowhere else on earth is this reconciliation tasted better than at the Lord’s Table.

Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:17)

Reminders: 1) you tend to fight most vigorously with those who are similar to you because you tend to want the same things. 2) Sinful wants cause war (James 41-2). 3) What we have in Christ, what we share in Him, is by His blood, and our justification by faith is the distinction that makes our most meaningful boast in Him.