November 2007 New Horizons

Thank Offering



"That They Might Be One"

Helps for Worship #23: Old and New Covenant Readings

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"That They Might Be One"

Behold, how good a thing it is, and how becoming well When those that brethren are delight in unity to dwell! For it is like the sacred oil poured out on Aaron's head, That flowing down upon his beard, upon his garment spread. When Jesus, our greater priest than Aaron, knelt and prayed his High Priestly Prayer, you and I were on his heart. Our Lord specifically prayed not "for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their [the apostles'] word" (John 17:20). Just prior to the most momentous event of all time, his atoning work on the cross, Christ prayed for a specific group of people who were not yet his disciples, but who would be marked by faith in him. What Does Our Lord Pray For? It is interesting to note the focus of his petition. In a number of ways, it is not what we might expect. If our Lord were to pray for one single thing for his future bride, the church, wouldn't it be perseverance, protection from Satan, or success in evangelism? These things are certainly ... Read more

Helps for Worship #23: Old and New Covenant Readings

"The New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed." (attributed to Augustine) In many church services, there are readings from both the Old and the New Covenant. I prefer the term Covenant, rather than the more familiar Testament, because it reminds us that the Bible is a covenant document. That is, it is a book of promises that God guarantees by the blood of his own Son, Jesus Christ. The Old Covenant consists of thirty-nine inspired books that were written before the coming of Christ; the New Covenant consists of twenty-seven inspired books (including the four Gospels) that were written after the coming of Christ. But why read from both the Old and the New Covenants? One answer is simply that this is a healthy exercise to increase our familiarity with both the Old and the New Covenants/Testaments. Many people know very little about the Old Testament, and even question its relevance for our day. Regular readings from the Old Testament (as well as the New), perhaps accompanied by ... Read more


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