Summary: EASTER 7, YEAR C - Jesus Prays for us all


Giacomo Puccini wrote some of the worlds most beautiful music. Among the works of

this great Italian composer are a number of famous operas, such as La Boheme and

Madame Butterfly. In 1922 the 64 year old composer was stricken with cancer. In spite

of the disease which ravaged his body Puccini determined to complete his opera Turandot

He worked on it day and night. Many people urged him to rest, thinking that he couldn’t

possibly finish it anyway. When his illness worsened and Puccini knew his death would

soon come he wrote to his students, "If I don’t finish Turandot I want you to finish it for


When you look out on all that needs to be done here in our church. The jobs that need

doing, the money that needs to be raised, the endless projects on our “To Do Lists.” Do

you ever feel a sense of panic? A sense of fear. Do you ever wonder how can we possible

do all that needs to be done? How will we ever pay for all that we have committed

ourselve to? Do you? Have you? Well, you’re not alone. And that is exactly what we must

remember most at times of fear. We must remember that we are not alone and that the one who stands with us is also the one who prayed for us long before we were even born.

“I do not pray for these disciples only, but also for those who believe in me through their

word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they

also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

As some of you know lately I have been researching our church history. The other day I

came upon an article written by Rev. Sanford Smith Martyn who served as pastor to our

church between 1870-1874. In his article Rev. Martyn is addressing the current theology

of his day in the 1800’s to which he writes, “the gift of God in Jesus sealing his life with

the death of the cross is a gift of healing, mercy, pardon, new divine life begotten in the

soul and bringing us into divine order and divine possibilities--in a word into union with

God, never reached in any other way. ‘For truly our fellowship is with the Father and

with his son Jesus Christ.” Of all the things Jesus could have prayed for the night before

he was about to die he prays that all who would believe in Him might be made one as the

Son is one with the Father. Why unity you might ask, because as president Abraham

Lincoln knew “United we stand, divided we fall.” And so for us to be able to do the tasks

that God has placed before us, we must be united. But this is not about simply being in

agreement or working off of the same sheet of music. For to God unity is an act of

restoration. A divine gift of grace by which God’s wayward children find their way back

home. A gift from above by which we who were once sinners are restored to the divine

glory in which we were originally created. It is for this divine purpose that Jesus prayed,

“The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as

we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the

world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Do we have all that we need to do the work of God in this church? When we look at the

seemingly endless requests for money ... workers and participation in on-going activities

One might be prone to say no, we don’t. But then, that’s what our eyes can see. But we

are christians and are therefore not to live by sight alone. As Rev. Martyn puts it, “this

development of truth signifying relations and facts centering in God has a realm

distinclevely its own, and that realm is faith. It is a realm signifying a sway of the whole

being by facts and influences other than either physical or merely intellectual, even that

which remains satisfied only when it hearkens to the one word--God.” Faith is how we

are to live Oh, sure we say that God loves us God is with us God is for us even that God

will take care of us But do we really believe it? When the rubber meets the road do we

really have the faith to trust that God will come through? Not just once But again and

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