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Monday, May 19, 2014

During this week when we mark the dedication
of the Sanctuary of Fourth Presbyterian Church
100 years ago, we share these words by
James McClure, President of McCormick Semimary
offered as part of the dedication services in May 1914.

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:19–22
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God. (NRSV)

My soul’s desire and prayer to God for this church is that its heart may be like unto the heart of God, like unto that heart that loves and welcomes every child of earth, that accepts and rejoices in in every tribute of worship offered God by his children whatever their name or their distinctive creeds, their knowledge, or their ignorance.

Oh that this church may be bigger than any one creed, or sect, or class, or race, or color—may be so big that any human being who has learned, however he or she has learned, to look to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in reverence and in dependence, may feel at home here, may draw nigh to God here, and may be cheered here to bless God’s day and place with the very atmosphere of heaven.

God, the all-inclusiveness of your love for every one who seeks your face has ever yet been lived, and never yet been lived. May it be the mission of this church to tell each person in unmistakable words how dear they are—preciously dear—to you, and then to live those words in the magnanimity of its welcome, the warmth of its fellowship, and the generosity of its devotion. Here may all people of all conditions, of all opinions, find you, and finding you, find the full, the sweet, and the perfect answer to their souls’ needs. For this, I am sure, is your wish for this church. Amen.

By James McClure, President of McCormick Seminary
Presented as part of the Sanctuary dedication-week services

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