Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church.
View this email in your browser

Daily Devotional • February 4 

James Cornwell
Household of Faith
A Reading from Galatians 5:25-6:10

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

1 My friends,if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. 4 All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. 5 For all must carry their own loads.
6 Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.

7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. 8 If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

The closing of today’s passage, which precedes the closing of this letter to the Galatians, is perhaps a stumbling block to many in the Christian West. “Let us do good to everyone,” St. Paul says. So far so good. But he continues: “especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

To many, this admonition smacks of parochialism, but, perhaps esepcially because of that fact, it is an admonition we need to hear. Too often we desire as individuals to show how broadminded we are by showering charity on Christians and non-Christians alike. There is nothing wrong with being generous toward our neighbors outside the Church, but we need to remember that St. Paul here is not writing to the Galatians as individuals, but to the Galatians as a community.  

He is not saying here that individuals within the community do not have a duty to do good outside the Church. Instead, what he is underscoring is that the society outside the Church doesn’t just need holy individuals, but holy communities they can emulate. When we do good “especially” to our fellow Christians, we are not simply taking the role of one human doing good toward another, we are modeling to the world the true body of Christ; we are showing to them what a community animated by love looks like. Perhaps most importantly, we are showing the world, against all the arguments to the contrary, that a community animated by love can work. 

We must remember that this calling to do good is not merely an individual calling, but a collective one. We have a responsibility not only to love those individuals outside the Church without ceasing, but to animate the Church body in such a way that Christ himself shines forth in our love for one another, thereby drawing in those outside the Christian fold to him.

James Cornwell lives and works in Wheaton, Illinois, with his wife Sarah and their seven children.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

All Saints Episcopal Church, Winter Park, Florida
The Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania
Subscribe to Daily Devotionals

Forward to a Friend

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Our mailing address is:
The Living Church
P.O. Box 510705
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Add us to your address book

Copyright © 2023 The Living Church, All rights reserved.