Jesus calls us o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea;
day by day his sweet voice soundeth,
saying “Christian, follow me.” – (Cecil Alexander, 1852)
This morning I want to give a shout out to my awesome wife, Rebekah. As always, she grounds me in so many ways. Today it’s via her video devotional, back in production after a two and a half week hiatus.
These messages (all archived on the Wake Forest Presbyterian Church Facebook page) originally emerged in response to the sense of disconnectedness our community felt when we had to stop live, “in-person,” church gatherings. On-line worship is meaningful, and attendance has been good, but the intimacy of these “Coffee with Rebekah” videos has done a lot to meet the need for emotional immediacy.
Rebekah pulled a verse from the prayer Jesus offered in John 17. He was actually praying for us: that’s you, me, Rebekah, our church, and everyone tuning in to the message.
The concern Jesus had/has was/is for unity. Not “uniformity” (that’s a defensive religious practice rooted in narrowmindedness and lack of faith) but “unity” (unity is the work of the Spirit).
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their (the Apostles) message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” – John 17:20-21
If we are going to achieve anything at all in terms of living out our salvation (salvation is our active participation in God’s initiatives of grace, mercy, love, peace, light, and hope), then this idea of “Unity in Christ” has to be more central to what characterizes us as followers of Jesus.
As I listened to Rebekah speak – it’s less than five minutes, well worth a look – I thought immediately of an old hymn I have not heard in probably decades, “Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild, restless sea…”
Here is another verse:
Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying “Christian, love me more.”
Maybe I can catch the meter and the soul of this song with some words of my own? Jesus calls us to be humble, and to listen to each voice; to respect and hear the other; saying “Christian, it’s your choice.”
Peace, and I mean that in every way – DEREK