Jesus Prayed We’d Be One

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

We are to love what God loves. God loves his Church, his Bride. This means speaking well of, and defending churches that are different to ours.

Speakers notes follow –

Jesus Prayed We’d Be One

John 17. 20-26

Palle Memorial – People spoke of his last days – what he said + did

Jesus about to die – prays for those he’s leaving – then you!

Prays for unityindividuals not fight, churches not compete – be one

But we struggle – see individuals Facebook – churches in newspaper

Every church has a problem with the church down the road!

Deserted island man ‘The church l don’t go to’ – like we need a church we don’t go to, to show ours is better!

Division is secular problem too – race, tribe, politics, class, gender

Christs salvation breaks walls – in Christ – neither male-female / slave-free / Jew-Gentile

2010 Chilean mine disaster 33 men, 2300 ft, 69 days, 1 can tuna -presence of 34th miner – politics, tribe, church – all needed salvation – Christs salvation breaks walls

Okay to be different – our church – Kenyans+Tanzan+Ugandans, rapper+rocker, Jubilee+Nasa, Arsenal+Chelsea – raise hands to same Jesus

Jesus didn’t pray be same – but be one – Trinity diff persons – male + female diff thankfully – need diff personalities + looks!

Unity in diversity – not Communism – same dress, houses, salaries

Christians+churches disagree – baptism, tongues, gender roles, dress – Vineyard has views on these too – often those who differ are more godly, more gifted.

But most here will have problem with – no woman preachers, only long sleeve dresses, suits + ties, organ only

So how should we think?

Steve Sjogren – Vineyard Cincinnati – Essentials – Traditions – Opinions (diagram)

Augustine – ‘In essentials unity, in non-essentials diversity, in all things charity (love)’

So there’s place to ‘agree to disagree’ – but with genuine care + generosity

This leads to being wise about partnerships:

Vineyard adopted+separated local churches based on vision & values – honest, loving agreement about different directions

But we also use Alpha (Anglican) and Daily Examen (Catholic) helps

Unity involves correcting+rebuking – Jesus used strong words – unity isn’t about being soft – about motive – wanting neighbours best – speak truth in love

Jesus suggests unity more powerful than presentation – good band, speakers, nice building – no use if divided

Ronaldinho – we are like family, ready to suffer together – we must stand with each other and the churches around us

Paul O, Peter G, Estelle K pray for our neighbouring churches

Ask God for his Psalm 133 anointing

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