02/06/2019: One and Undivided
CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 97
1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
7 All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols—
worship him, all you gods!
8 Zion hears and rejoices
and the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments, Lord.
9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
NT READING: John 17:20-26
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you 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 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide
Verse for the week: John 17:23
“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”.
The theme to engage with this week is about “unity” and it is brought home in the poetic language of John 17. Jesus pleads with His Father to give his church family the love, wisdom and strength to live in unity with each other. John gives us a glimpse into Jesus’ heart and his deep longing for the community of believers to “be one and undivided”.
- Getting into the story: What night of the week did this event take place? What is significant about “this evening” for Jesus? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- In John 17:6-19, Jesus prayed for the disciples. In John 17:20-26 who did Jesus pray for? Why is that important? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- When you find yourself faced with difficult challenges perhaps even crisis and illness – do you think remembering that Jesus had you in mind during his prayer – might make a difference for you? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“My prayer for each of us is to know that whatever we may face, we do not face it alone, because Jesus was praying for us back then and promises to always be with us through the Holy Spirit even now, all these thousands of years later. On the night before his crucifixion Jesus prayed for you and me. Jesus continues to walk with us.”
- Think carefully about the “unity” that Jesus refers to in vs.21. What model for unity is he talking about? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Is this unity possible in the church today? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- What/who creates a real and lasting unity? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Prayer for the week:
God’s peace passes all understanding, it guides our hearts and directs our minds, may this peace be always with you.
NOTES: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have a blessed week.