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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

During this week when we mark the dedication
of the Sanctuary of Fourth Presbyterian Church
100 years ago, we share these words by
John Timothy Stone, Pastor of Fourth Church,
preached during the Sunday, May 17, 1914, worship service

Scripture Reading: Luke 4:14–22
Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

     The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
          because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;
     he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
          to preach deliverance to the captives,
               and recovering of sight to the blind,
          to set at liberty them that are bruised,
     to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” And all bare him witness and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. (KJV)

Let us pray together that God’s Holy Spirit may in fullness be outpoured upon our own church and upon the church of Jesus Christ universal, that we may not look alone in one another’s faces and contend with each other’s controversies, but that there may be within us the spirit of the Holy One, that we may know that we are a part of God’s church and that God is governing all.

To this end and with this prayer, we would now consecrate these walls already dedicated to God as we ask that God may give them to us as we have given them to God , and give them to us that no earnestness or enthusiasm, no fancy, no desire to do God’s will in the best way as others see it, may ever control us in our motives or plans, but that this building and that all these buildings may be consecrated to God and to God’s will, that hearts may be won and uplifted.

Oh, think of the verse that Jesus Christ selected when he preached in his own home for the first time. He turned to the book of Isaiah: “The Lord hath sent me to bind up brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to them, to proclaim the acceptable will of the Lord.”

May these hearts be consecrated to God, who is all-powerful, and who can bless every heart and save us from ourselves and from the world as God saves us for God’s eternal service. Amen.

By John Timothy Stone
Pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church (1909–1930)

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