"One faith, one hope, and one baptism, one God and father of all"

We sang this hymn in church this morning. I thought it painted a pretty accurate picture of the church today. It made me sad and hopeful at the same time.
The church's on foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is his new creation by water and the word:
From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.
Elect from every nation, yet one o'er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation -- one Lord, one faith, one birth:
One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food;
And to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.
This stanza in particular resonated with me.
Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.
For all the squabbling Christians do amongst themselves God still intends to use us for his glory and deliver us from ourselves.
'Mid toil and tribulation, and tumults of her war,
She waits the consummation of peace for evermore;
Till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
And the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.
Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.
Oh happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace, that we
Like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with thee.
Samuel John Stone, 1839-1900
The hymn was sung after a sermon on Ephesians 4:1-6. The passage is a powerful statement on the unity we have in the church. There is a song by Michael Card and John Michael Talbot based on this passage that gives me chills every time I hear it. It makes so many of the things that Christians divide themselves over seem so trivial and childish. There is something very powerful holding the faithful together no matter how hard we push and pull at each other.


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