Lectionary (Year B): Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19
Theme: Jesus’ Prayer For Our Mission
Message: Through the Church Year in the gospels we see many different portraits of Jesus: Virgin birth, in the Temple teaching, calling disciples, teaching multitudes as well as disciples, healing, coming into Jerusalem on a donkey’s foal, dying on the cross, appearing to His shocked disciples, ascending into heaven. The naves of the great cathedrals of Europe are covered with the baroque Masters’ renditions of these events. The view of Jesus in our gospel reading today is one of Jesus praying for us, his disciples, to the Father, as described by the disciple, John 17:6-19:
CHRIST PRAYS FOR THE ROOTS AND FRUITS OF HIS DISCIPLES:
A Prayer for Unity, Joy, Protection, and Holiness.
Here Christ is praying not just for the Apostles Peter, James, and John. But He is praying also for Jerome, Augustine and Bernard. He is interceding to the Father for St. Francis, John Hus, and John Wycliffe. He brings Calvin and Zwingli, Wesley and Whitefield before His Father, as well as Graham and Peale and Martin Luther King, as well as John XXIII, and Bishop Leslie Newbigin. Here Christ is praying for you and for me, and for all his disciples who would follow Him into the lost and broken world of the 21st Century so loved by Him.
Motto of the Reformed Church in America: “In Unity is Strength”
C. S. Lewis found it difficult to become a Christian, but when he did, he entitled the book, “Surprised By Joy”
“In Christ There Is No East or West,” “So Send I You,” “Bringing in the Sheaves,”
Eternal Light, shine in our hearts; eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil; eternal Power, be our support eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance; eternal Pity, have mercy upon us; that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we may seek your face and be brought by your infinite mercy to your holy presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
— Alcuin of York (735–804)
We give in humility, realizing that all that we have has originally come from you; and we give with a sense of responsibility, for we know that we are accountable for what you have given us.
Benediction: Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, for they will be like trees planted by water, sending out their roots by the stream. They will not fear when the heat comes, and their leaves will stay green.
— Adapted from Jeremiah 17:7-8
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