April 17, 2015 - Pastors Luncheon Reflections

 Gary Kinnaman 

It’s another milestone!

 No less than twenty leaders, young and older, Catholic and Evangelical, shared a luncheon fellowship yesterday (April 17, 2015) at the Phoenix Diocesan Center with Bishop Olmstead and Auxiliary Bishop Nevares.  Each leader had a chance to tell his or her life and ministry story—and to hear Bishop Olmstead share his.

Following the event, one of our Evangelical brothers texted me, “It was really moving to be ‘inside’ that much history, presence, and power and yet sense true humility, kindness and a genuine love for Jesus.”

Yes, it was a blessed time.  We are in an historic time, as prominent leaders from both Evangelical and Roman Catholic communities are discovering, in spite of what some consider profound differences, that we are brother and sisters in Christ.

We are living Ephesians 2:14-18 (ESV):  For [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility … that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Of course, Paul is writing about Jews and Gentiles, but the message is clear. Wherever there’s a “dividing wall of hostility,” the work of Christ on the cross destroys the hostility that creates the barrier—and makes the two one.  None of us has access to the Father because we have all our doctrines exactly right…we have access to the Father “in the Spirit.” Indeed, we share the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”