"In Christ there is no east or west, In Him no south or north, But one great fellowship of love Throughout the whole wide earth.
"With God there is no tribe or race: In Him we all are one. He loves us as His children through Our faith in His dear Son."
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). God loves the world. He loves the people He created, people who are scattered across the globe, so the crucified and risen Savior sent His followers out to make disciples of all nations. They were to baptize in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and to teach all that Jesus had commanded. Wherever the disciples went, they proclaimed the Good News of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. People listened and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, they believed. Then they, in turn, shared the Gospel with others. When persecution arose against the church and believers fled to new regions, "those who were scattered went about preaching the Word" (Acts 8:4).
Disciples went out in every direction to preach the Good News that Jesus died and rose from the dead "to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad" (John 11:52b). Jesus Himself had said, "People will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God" (Luke 13:29). Yet even though people from around the world hear and believe the Good News, "in Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north." The Holy Spirit unites us in faith. We are all clothed in the righteousness of Jesus our Savior, as the apostle Paul writes: "As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). We represent different nations, cultures, and languages, yet we are one in faith. We are the body of Christ.
We continue to share the Good News of Jesus wherever we go. We pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit, more people—from north, south, east and west—will be brought to faith and worship Jesus as Lord. Finally, the day will come when we stand together before the throne of God, a great multitude that no one can number, "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages" (Revelation 7:9b). We will call out with one voice to praise the Lord who saved us!
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, help us to live in unity as members of Your body, the church. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "In Christ There is No East or West," which is number 653 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. What is your role in sharing the Gospel with others?
2. What does it say to you when Paul writes that we "are all one in Christ Jesus"?
3. What are some things the Christian church can do to spread the Gospel around the world?
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