Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Here you can find past sermons and podcasts from Parish Presbyterian Church. Use the "Episodes" menu above to search for a particular series.

Feb 6, 2022

Presbyterian minister Henry van Dyke wrote Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, an ecstatic celebration of Christian unity, in 1907. He intended the poem to be sung to the melody of the final movement of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 in D minor, which was itself a setting of an earlier poem by Friedrich Schiller called “Ode to Joy.” The Ode uses flowery and somewhat utopian eighteenth-century language to paint a picture of universal brotherhood under the watchful eye of a loving heavenly father. While Schiller’s poem only hints at the potential of human unity in some distant future, Christians can point to the concrete experience of unity in Christ. Because of Jesus’s atoning work on the cross, we are declared faithful souls who can press on towards the goal together (Psalm 101:6). We are, through grace, members of Zion’s city, able to devote ourselves to fellowship and the breaking of bread (Acts 2:42). Because we rely on Him alone, we can join in love within the house of God—and that is truly joyful to see. Though sin and conflict will inevitably mar this unity, as it had in the situation Paul addresses in 2 Corinthians 2, we have the ability and the duty to forgive one another. We love because He first loved us and gave us pardon. In response, we should take up the prayer of Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee: “Teach us how to love each other.” —Henry C. Haffner

Key Words: Pain, Joy, Love, Forgive, Comfort, Outwitted
Keystone Verse: You should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. (2 Corinthians 2:7)


2 Corinthians 2:1-11
For I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? 3 And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. 4 For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you. 5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs