Saving Grace

God’s grace and mercy comes to us through the sacraments

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.” – St. John 17:20-23, 25

Last Sunday, we celebrated the last Sunday in the Easter festival. In the appointed text Jesus prayed for his small band of followers and for the church.

Prayer is a powerful tool which was given to us by God. It is our way of communicating with the creator. Prayer gives us strength for our daily living and hope for the future.

Yet, someone once referred to prayer as begging. He said he does not beg, not even God.

I agree, prayer is begging. We beg a gracious and merciful God to look upon us poor, miserable sinners with mercy and compassion. To pray is to plead or implore.

The beggar on the street hopes for help in poverty or need and pleads for it. The street beggar pleads to strangers and is uncertain whether he will get help. We on the other hand, plead to God from whom we are guaranteed a response and help.

We should all pray constantly for God’s grace and mercy and intervention in our lives and the lives of our family, and friends. My late mother and brother were prayer warriors. They were constantly on their knees praying, especially for the family.

I am thankful for the prayers which are offered up for me. Yes, I am thankful, especially for the many unknown individuals who keep me in their prayers. I often get letters from people I don’t even know who tell me that they are praying for me and my ministry. Praise the Lord.

We learn from scripture that almost immediately after our Lord’s ascension, there were quarrels amongst the disciples. Some had a different opinion as to how the church should be organized and who should come into it. Unfortunately, we still have those quarrels today.

Even though the modern church has seen much division, we in the church still have unity. This prayer gives us that unity, which makes us one in Christ Jesus. Through him and in him, we are one body, striving for the kingdom of God.

We all need prayers to keep us firm in the faith. While we are here on earth, we are called to display this unity so that the world will know that he is the Son of God. We are called to tell the world of the love of the Father.

As time passed, he knew that the church would need God’s grace and mercy and his protection. Therefore, before going to his father, he interceded on behalf of both the disciples and the church.

Jesus’ prayer is an all-encompassing prayer. We thank God that he did pray for us in order that we meet the challenges which the world presents for us. Where would we be without it?

He concludes the prayer by giving honor to his Father, “O righteous Father.” The Father through the Son has purchased all humanity from sin and damnation, with the blood of the Pascal Lamb, Jesus Christ.

Yes, we too are like beggars seeking God’s grace and mercy, which comes to us through the sacraments, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. We are called to share this with the world. We pray today, that he keeps us in the true faith and that we continue to be a beacon to the lost souls of the world. Amen.

  
 • Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; E-mail: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.

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