SERVICE SUMMARY: It’s no secret that our country is divided in many ways. Civil strife and discord are in the news almost daily. We might expect a nation as vast and diverse as the United States to hold many world views and perspectives in tension. What may be surprising, though, is that many people experience the Christian Church as no different. Critics point to the various divisions as reasons for disbelief. Yet, Jesus is not surprised. In fact, Christian unity is the very thing he prayed for on the night before he went to the cross. Join us this week as we begin a series on the Christian practice of the communion of the saints. Click HERE to RSVP to service.
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
CONFESSION OF SIN
Lord you have told us to love you and our neighbor.
Yet we have spurned your words, your will, and your ways.
We have envied and lusted after our neighbors–even fellow Christians.
We view them as enemies and treat them with contempt.
We quarrel and fight,
We gossip and slander,
We neglect and turn away when they are in need.
Hear us now as we silently confess the ways we have neglected to pursue unity and act in love.
Forgive our sins and cultivate love and unity in your Church,
For the glory of Christ who prayed that we might be one in him.
SONG TO CONSIDER
The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is His new creation by water and the Word:
from heav’n he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.
Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth,
her charter of salvation one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued.
Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.
The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend,
to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end;
though there be those that hate her, and false sons in her pale,
against both foe and traitor she ever shall prevail.
‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation of peace forevermore;
till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.
Yet she on earth hath union with the God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we,
like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with thee.