The Church’s One Foundation”

As I ponder the readings of this week, it feels like we returned to the basics or foundational tenants of Christianity.  Paul spoke to the nature of real love in 1 Corinthians 13.  Much of life will disappear but “faith, hope and love abide but the greatest of these is love.”  Indeed we see through a glass dimly and often act as children.  We are tasked with a ministry of reconciliation – bringing people and God into a dynamic relationship.  Peter called this relationship a “priesthood of believers,” “living stones” in a building for all and not just a testimony to self.  James reminded us of the tension between faith and works.  We can talk all we want but the proof is in our life and actions.  John ended the week and brought us back to love as the characteristic of Christians but a love that is not like the world loves but a love that is willing to sacrifice like Christ on the cross.  The test of faith is if we can say that Jesus Christ, Son of God, came in the flesh.

         “The Church’s One Foundation” is an old hymn written by Samuel John Stone in 1860 in response to a schism between two Anglican bishops of South Africa.  The case came to England.  Stone’s response is based on the third article of the Apostle’s Creed, “I believe in the holy Christian church…” and based on 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

1 The church’s one Foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is His new creation,
by water and the Word;
from heav’n He came and sought her
to be His holy bride;
with His own blood He bought her,
and for her life He died.

3 Tho’ 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.

5 ‘Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult 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.

6 Yet she on earth hath union
with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with Thee.

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