Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is. ~Theologian Han Urs von Balthazar
Welcoming Guests and Announcements – Pastor Dave
Hymn Sing – Congregational Hymn Pick
Prayer Concerns – Pastor Ross
Pastoral Prayer – Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Reading – I Corinthians 1:9-17 – Pastor Ross
Message – United
Communion – Pastors Linda, Ross & Dave
Benediction – Pastor Dave
1 Corinthians 1:9-17 – New Revised Standard Version
9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the partnership of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions in the Church
10 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you but that you be knit together in the same mind and the same purpose.
11 For it has been made clear to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters.
12 What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”
13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name.
16 I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel – and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.
Politics easily divides us these days. How do we hold convictions on political and social issues & remain charitable & civil towards those who disagree with us? Faith helps us value unity & the desire to serve Christ and not just pursuing individual freedom at the expense of community. Our witness as United Methodists is defined not by the absence of conflict, but how we act in disagreements. Our unity is not defined by uniformity, but by our compassionate & Spirit-led faithfulness to covenant with God, Christ’s Church & one another.
Christians have been arguing since the days of the early church. Like our in uniting work of the Holy Spirit, the one Spirit that gives us many & diverse gifts. In the Upper Room Jesus showed us two to be servants to one another in his name. We pray for help us see as Christ does, especially when we’re tempted to see only our own interests.
To move from tension and distrust to valuing, listening and trusting one another. UM’s have long lived by the words of founder John Wesley: In essentials, unity. In nonessentials, liberty. In all things, charity. This really only happens when we live trusting God & God’s work in us.
The ways we handle our divisions will show the world our Savior. Let’s speak & act so that no one will doubt we are brothers & sisters in X. The gospel is revealed in the cross of self-sacrifice, giving of oneself to the way of Jesus. The cross tells us how to bear the burdens of others.