Do these following words sound familiar? “Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ. And Christ rose for us; Christ reigns in power for us; Christ prays for us.” These words are a common Assurance of Pardon in the Presbyterian Church. Today in 1 Timothy we encounter the fullness of its power.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life….For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and the world: the man Jesus Christ.”
Christ prays for us…intercedes on our behalf.
I cannot tell you the comfort it brings to me to know that Jesus in our intercessor. His care and concern for us goes well beyond his life or even his death, but continues for us today. In fact, through our baptism, we have been grafted into Christ, and he is a part of us and we are a part of him.
This is why we pray in his name, because we are remembering that through Christ that we have come to be in a mystical union with God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, through prayer, just as with the sacraments, or preaching, or foot-washing, we can be vaulted to heaven in a bond with God that cannot be broken.
I love hymnody and often scripture has spoken most powerfully through the gift of music. The hymnbook also preaches. Today is one of those days, where one of my favorite hymns captures the essence of the mystical bound of love that is shared in 1 Timothy. The last verse of The Church’s One Foundation:
Yet she on earth hath union (“she” meaning the church)
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.
May God fill our hearts with the power of prayer, where we can experience the mystical union and great love that God has for us. May we also grow into God’s desire for our life, and find a centeredness that radiates peace forevermore, that we may dwell with God in that mystic sweet communion in the here and now.