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Jan 18, 2021

The hymns we sing this morning come in pairs, each responding to a different aspect of Paul’s call for unity in the church in 1 Corinthians 1. We begin the service with a vision of the name of Jesus compelling “every heart and tongue” to “join the sacred song” (To Our Redeemer’s Glorious Name), and close with a declaration that all our Father’s works shall bless Him (Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee). We sing twice from the Psalms that we look to see “all the faithful souls ever dwell in unity” (a paraphrase of Psalm 101:6) and that this unity is “good” and “becoming” (Behold How Good A Thing It Is—Psalm 133). We confess twice from The Church’s One Foundation that the cornerstone of this “mystic sweet communion” between the saints is “one Lord, one faith, one birth” (echoing Paul’s words in Ephesians 4). As we go to the table, the hymns speak of the particular joy of unity within the church: it is sweet to sing in one accord (O Lord, How Joyful Tis To See), and all who praise together in Zion are blest (O Lord Of Hosts, How Lovely—Psalm 84). While this vision is indeed sweet, it isn’t easily attainable due to our fallen natures. As we go out, let’s continue to sing and pray the final verse of the closing hymn: “teach us how to love each other…” —Henry C. Haffner

Key Words: Appeal, Agree, United, One, Mind, Judgment, Divisions, Gospel
Keystone Verse: Be united in the same mind and the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)


1 Corinthians 1:10-17

10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.