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Marks of the Church: One (2017-0910)

. 2 min read

9-10
Sept 2017, Christ Mountain Top
Call
to Worship, Psalm 133
Children,
Matthew 5.23-24
Message,
John 17.1-26, Ephesians 4.1-7
Creed,
Nicene # 880
Mission
Moment: Hurricane relief
Children:
Practicing
reconciliation
Message:
Nicene
Creed
      Share together
Childhood friendship
– refusing to share friendship
      Define ourselves by the group we are in
      Define our groups by their borders, not
their center
Nicene
Creed
      Marks of the church
      Ephesians 4
      Psalm 133
John
17:20-23
 I ask not only on
behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through
their word,  21 that they may
all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also 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 them, so that they may be one, as we are one,  23 I in them and you in me, that
they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent
me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Unity in Burundi
      Hutu vs Tutsi, civil war ended in 2006
      New violence brewing – disappearances,
mass graves, 250K refugees
      Church divided since 2005 – rival bishops,
different factions
      Aug 29 resolution to reconcile

Oneness
is grounded in God’s oneness
God
Is One – Shema
Not
rooted in our compatibility or agreement, oneness of God
If
we are God’s people, then we are one.
About
the “fellowship of Christ”, not the fellowship of the church … one is the basis
of the other. The fellowship of Christ is
      Fellowship with God
      Fellowship with the oppressed
Time Travelers @ Historic
St. George’s
– Oct 14
Oneness
is practiced by welcome and acceptance
      Romans 15.7, accept one another, just as
Christ accepted you
            Welcome one another
      “Receive hospitably”, make someone at home
in my home
      Mi casa es su casa
Oneness
is practiced by being REAL (our values)
Unity
in Freedom – Moltmann
“Freedom
can be destroyed through the mania for uniformity, just as it can be killed by
ruthless pluralism” (343, Moltmann)
Oneness
is practiced in reconciliation
      Have the difficult conversations, make
them a priority
Dividing
lines in America today, and in the church:
      Race, along with immigration
      Politics
      Human sexuality – potential of dividing
UMC
In
America, times that we recognize that what unites us is bigger than what
divides us – hurricanes, 9/11
Scripture
is clear that the oneness of God is bigger than the dividing lines of our
conflicts.
Nevertheless,
as real and as important as these big picture divisive questions are, it is
always the particular and personal that is most difficult, not the universal issues:
      Charles
Schultz
, Linus, “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand”
Prayer
for Unity, Chinese, hymnal #564
Help
each of us, gracious God,
To
live in such magnanimity and restraint
That
the Head of the church may never have cause to say
      to any one of us,
This
is my body, broken by you.
Resource:

Moltmann,
The Church in the Power of the Spirit