Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am. – John 17:24.
Those who believe in Jesus Christ, through the Word preached by the apostles, and are sanctified to God through such faith, are, by such faith, to be one with the apostles and with one another: one, as the Father and the Son are One, one in the Father and in the Son. And the Savior’s glory will rest upon them: it will unite them.
And they will be the Savior’s witnesses to the world, so that children of the world may, by God’s grace alone, also come to faith in their Savior: those whom the Father, through faith kindled in them, has given to the Son. And the love with which the Father loves the Son will rest upon them, for, through faith, the Savior is within them. And, at last, they shall be where Christ is; they shall be with Him and behold and enjoy the glory which the Father has given His eternally beloved Son.
What a glorious Christian calling! What blessed Christian hope! But, oh, because of sin, how little of this unity do we see! Let us be greatly on guard that we do not hinder the work of God! And yet, all those who are one in Christ, who truly are in Christ, God does His work through them, and they shall nevertheless serve as His faithful instruments and mouthpieces.
What blessed grace and mercy from our God in Christ Jesus!
PRAYER – Dear Father in heaven, for the sake of the prayer of Thy Son, have mercy upon us and do not cast us, Thy believers, away because of our sin and infirmities. Defend us day-after-day against all that would seduce us, and ward off all self-conceit, every delusion, every false doctrine that opposes Thy truth and divides Thy dear Church. Let me continue steadfast in Thy truth; let Thy Son’s saving glory be seen in me; let many who are still afar off be brought to faith in Christ through the seed of Thy living, powerful Word of truth and grace, and, in the end, graciously receive me into Thy heavenly glory. Have mercy, O gracious God, have mercy, for Christ’s sake! Amen.
“The saints on earth and those above, but one communion make;
joined to their Lord in bonds of love, all of His grace partake.
One family, we dwell in Him, one Church above, beneath;
though now divided by the stream, the narrow stream, of death.
Lord Jesus, be our constant Guide; then, when the word is given,
bid death’s cold flood its waves divide, and land us safe in heaven.”
Hymn 478, vv. 1, 2, 5. (TLH)