August 9, 2022     2:30 pm
104. Week of Second Sunday in Lent - Friday
Father, I will that they also whom You have given Me be with Me where I am
          Father, I will that they also whom You have given Me be with Me where I am.   John 17:24
          Lastly the Lord prayed for all those, too, of whom He knew would believe in Him through the Word preached by the Apostles. He prayed thus: "Neither do I pray for these alone, but for them also that shall believe on Me through their Word, that they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that You have sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I will that they also whom You have given Me be with Me where I am, that they behold my glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You, and these have known that You have sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:20-26.)
          Those who believe in Jesus Christ, through the Word preached by the Apostles, and are sanctified to God through such faith, must, by such faith, 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 Saviour's glory must rest upon them: it must unite them. And they must be the Saviour's witnesses to the world, so that children of the world may also come to faith in their Saviour: 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 Saviour 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, for our sin! How little of this unity, of this glory on earth, do we see! How we hinder the work of God! And yet - all those are one who truly are in Christ, and the Saviour's glory nevertheless is gleaming on them, and God nevertheless does His work through them, and they shall nevertheless in the end come to Jesus. The Saviour's prayer prevails. What blessed grace!
          PRAYER: - Dear Father in heaven, for the sake of the prayer of Your Son have mercy upon us and do not cast us, Your Christians, away because of our sin and infirmity. Defend us against all that would seduce us, and ward off all self-conceit, every delusion, every false doctrine that opposes Your truth and divides Your dear Church. Let me, a poor sinner, continue steadfast in Your truth; let Your Son's saving glory be seen upon me; let many who are still afar off be brought to faith in Christ through me, and in the end graciously receive me into Your heavenly glory. Have mercy, O gracious God, have mercy, for Christ's sake! Amen.

First Part : Festival Season
August 9, 2022     2:30 pm