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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Behold, the church

Striving to be one

We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well-known; as dying, and see--we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything (2 Corinthians 6:8-10).

Consider with me that ancient mystery, the church:

It is an earthen vessel, yet carries a priceless gospel.
It is never perfect, but always seeking righteousness.
It is often divided, but always striving to be one.

It is an earthen vessel, yet carries a priceless gospel.
It is never perfect, but always seeking righteousness.
It is often divided, but always striving to be one.

It has many leaders, but one Lord.
It speaks many languages, but confesses one faith.
It has many branches, but flows from one baptism.

It worships in the grandest cathedral or in the humblest prison.
It speaks sternly to the most powerful ruler and gently to the most fragile soul.
It teaches profound mysteries in simple words.

It has been persecutor and persecuted, victor and victim, idol and icon.

It is richest when it is poor,
strongest when it is weak,
wisest when it learns,
and purest when it confesses its sin.

The future of the world depends on it, yet it has been entrusted to our hands.


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