The Church’s One Foundation

The Church's One Foundation
The church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is his new creation
by water and the word.
From heav'n he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.

Elect from ev'ry nation,
yet one o'er all the earth,
her charter of salvation
one Lord, one faith, one birth:
one holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with ev'ry grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
this world sees her oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping;
their cry goes up: "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

Through toil and tribulation
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till with the vision glorious
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth has union
with God, the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
Oh, blessed heav'nly chorus!
Lord, save us by your grace,
that we, like saints before us,
may see you face to face.

We have just come through our Christmas holiday season, a season full of enormous expectations for connecting with friends; decorating our homes; exchanging multiple gifts; and attending church services, concerts, family meals, and work parties. It can feel both joyous to experience these reconnections and overwhelming in the emotional intensity these seasonal expectations generate.

In the midst of these holiday events, many of us also experience recurring grief; having lost a loved one, that person's absence is achingly real especially now.

What a wonderful comfort to us that God has promised us a resurrected life. We don't know what awaits us after death; it's the great unknown, and our common human fear. Our bodies have an automatic drive to keep ourselves alive; even the most faithful of us may fight death to our final breath.

God loves these bodies of ours, and became human to live with us, teach us, and lead us into lives of love, service, and sacrifice. God does not forget us, and will be with us every day, from our birth to our bodily death, and then again in God's promise of new life.

Thank you, God for the gift of the resurrection, and the experience of continuing relationship with our loved ones. Keep us close to their memory, and close to your heart all the days of our lives. Amen.

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