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For more information,

Kelvin Krieger,
Program Coordinator,
Mission in the World
Phone 204.984.9164
Toll free:
1.888.786.6707 Ext 164
Fax 204.984.9185
E-mail vim@elcic.ca
Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada,
302-393 Portage Ave,
Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6

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Easter Sermon Series 2001

Easter 7

Fellowship of Oneness: a God-Connection: Notes

  • (vs 20) It is remarkable that Jesus includes us in this great priestly prayer. He includes all future followers who are not yet part of this great "Fellowship of Oneness" that he intends to become Christ's Body on earth. We who lead "the Body" today would do well to model this prayer of Jesus by praying often for those who are not yet attending our fellowship.


Rev. Rolf Nosterud
Risen Lord Lutheran Church,
Edmonton, Alberta

  • (vs 21ff) Jesus earnestly prays for unity and love because this is a vital gift to the world! It's a communion he calls "being completely one". It's not that we have to think alike on all issues. Rather, it is to display our oneness in Christ, despite a diversity of thought and practice among us. Jesus is also telling us that bearing witness as God's loving fellowship of oneness is the key to our persuading the world that Jesus' gospel is a vital connection to God.
  • (vs 22f) Clearly the survival of Christian congregations in Western culture depends on the present generation's witness to the next. In a secular culture, this is a work of mission. How well are we helping either the present or the next generation to connect with God? More than talk about God's love, we must walk God's love with others-and that includes a sensitive and caring communion with those inside as well as those yet outside the church. Unfortunately the Western gods of sensuality, money, and me-first often reign in our churches as much as they do in the world. We must renew God's vision of oneness in all communities.
  • (vs 24ff) Hope remains since our tradition still holds the trump card of spiritual insight into fulfillment. Moreover, we are God's chosen instrument to proclaim this Gospel of Oneness. Only by embracing the gospel of relatedness, as found in God's loving fellowship of oneness, will the human spirit be fully human and meaningfully connected to God. In the end, today's consumer gods (no matter how slyly they are marketed) will never satisfy. Ultimately, finding one's identity, security, and purpose as a person comes from belonging to (or "losing oneself") in God's covenant community or, the mystery of Christ's "Body".
  • God is perhaps most often made accessible in the sharing of those who know they truly care for each other. That's why it is important that we express our love and concern, for in this sharing we acknowledge our oneness in Christ. Jesus last words to us are "You will tell them for me, won't you?" That is what lies behind the various "greetings" or "exchange of peace" in our worship service. We express to each other our caring and our oneness in Christ. That is also why Martin Luther elevates what he called "the consolation and conversation of the brethren" to be the third means of Grace, after the Word and the Sacraments

-- Rev. Rolf Nosterud

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