BE ONE! Sermon Recap, May 8, 2016
Grace had the privilege of hosting Rev. Dr. Scot Sherman from San Francisco this Sunday. Our text and homily came from John 17, in which Jesus makes an appeal to God on our behalf. The repetition and cadence of the prayer sounds almost like a modern prayer. It is an emotional appeal to God that Jesus’ followers might be one with God, with each other, for the sake of the world.
The good news is first that we are invited into the heart of God. The same sort of union that Jesus has with God, Jesus prays for on behalf of his disciples. This union is often an abstraction that is hard to get a grip on. Jesus prays for a nearness to God that seems elusive. Something for mystics and monks perhaps, but not for me. We talk about Jesus making us righteous, yet we also know ourselves. We’re anything but righteous. Even still, Jesus invites us into the heart of God. We are both righteous and sinful. At the same time. We are the stained shirt both before and after the oxi-clean.
It is this condition-this being made right with Christ-this invitation into the heart of God that is the basis of our unity with one another. Our oneness with Christ makes us one with each other. Dr. Sherman pointed out that agreement was not the ground of unity for the early church. There was obvious and significant disagreement. This is in fact exactly why Jesus prays for unity. He knows they’ll need the prayer! So often, being ‘right’ becomes the standard for unity. But in Jesus prayer in John 17, it is God’s gift of grace, his invitation into His heart that is the grounds for our unity.
The final word was the challenge for the generous grace of God that invites us to be one with Him and with each other to go with us this week. “Only you can be you,” Dr. Sherman reminded us, “No one else has your calendar this week. No one else has the same appointments.” It’s true. You have a unique sphere of influence. You have a unique call. He also reminded us that each church has a unique call for this time and place. God’s intentions have no changed. He longs to invite you into His heart this week-for you to experience union with Him. He longs for the church to be one and for the world to experience His grace. There’s only one of you, and God wants you to experience life to the fullest and to offer that life to a world in need.
- We give thanks for the women who have formed each and every person in our midst.
- We pray for Breakthrough Urban Ministries and their work in East Garfield Park.
- We pray for Nettelhorst Elementary School, our partnership with them, and their service to the community.
- If you’re interested in connecting with a community group this summer, email, firstname.lastname@example.org
- We need help with our Sunday service. If you’re able to help out, email, email@example.com
- May 15th, Stephan Gambis is back this Sunday at 9:30AM for our lecture series. Join us!