A Prayer For Christian Unity

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, three-in-one God, one God in three persons . . .

You are the original relationship. You are the original God-centered, others-oriented community. You are the MODEL for the unity of Your Church. Our Lord Jesus prayed that we would live in holy relationship with one another, even as You live as a holy relationship.

But we have fallen short of the glory of Your loving unity, Lord. Forgive us: for we have hurt and hated one another, we have turned away from and not toward one another, we have talked about and not to one another.

But because of His great love for us, the Father planned to provide peace through the Son by the power of the Spirit. You have forgiven us so that we might be able to forgive those who have sinned against us. You are not only the glorious MODEL but also the gracious MEANS by which Your people live in unity.

Now we ask, Lord, that Your work of redemption for us and in us might powerfully work reconciliation between us. Stir our hearts to forgive as we have been forgiven, to reconcile with one another even as we have been reconciled to You.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Spirit, one God, now and forever,

AMEN.

This Is The One . . .

Holy Week remembers the Passion of Jesus Christ Crucified

This is the one who patiently endured many things in many people:

This is the one who was murdered in Abel, and bound as a sacrifice in Isaac,

and exiled in Jacob, and sold in Joseph,

and exposed in Moses, and sacrificed in the lamb,

and hunted down in David, and dishonored in the prophets.

This is the one who became human in a virgin,

who was hanged on the tree, who was buried in the earth,

who was resurrected from among the dead,

and who raised mankind up out of the grave below to the heights of heaven.

The one who hung the earth in space, is himself hanged;

the one who fixed the heavens in place, is himself impaled;

the one who firmly fixed all things, is himself firmly fixed to the tree.

The Lord is insulted, God has been murdered,

the King of Israel has been destroyed by the right hand of Israel.

This is the lamb that was slain. This is the lamb that was silent.

This is the one who was taken from the flock, and was dragged to sacrifice,

and was killed in the evening, and was buried at night;

the one who was not broken while on the tree,

who did not see dissolution while in the earth.

who rose up from the dead, and who raised up mankind from the grave below.

St. Melito (a Holy Week sermon from the Bishop of Sardis given around 170 A.D.)

[HT: My friend and fellow elder, Kevin Hekman]

Why Bunker-Bound Believers Are Boring

“To talk about service might seem boring to some. We’ve fallen into this notion that serving is boring, like broccoli.
This is because the concept of Christian morality has often been hijacked in our day by boring people — people who have reduced Christian morality to the avoidance ethic and its most degenerate form, the boycott ethic. The avoidance ethic is the opposite of what I have outlined here. Instead of seeing the Christian life as about being proactive and abundant in doing good, it sees the essence of the Christian life as avoiding bad. It turns discipleship into the art of, as David Platt has said, ‘disinfecting Christians’ rather than sending them out for real engagement in the world.

Who would get excited about a life that is mainly about avoiding things and holing yourself up in a Christian bunker, allegedly ‘safe’ from the world? . . .

. . . A life of serving is a life of joy and adventure and excitement — far more exciting, in fact, than a life lived for yourself, no matter how many times you get to travel the world.”

Matt Perman in What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done (pp. 80-81). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.