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Monday, May 26, 2014
As we mark the dedication of the Sanctuary
of Fourth Presbyterian Church 100 years ago this month,
we share these words by John Timothy Stone,
Pastor of Fourth Church in May 1914,
which he preached during the service to dedicate the Sanctuary
Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:16–18
Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered and said unto him, “…And upon this rock will I build my church.”
Oh you who love the Lord Jesus Christ, in tradition, in sacred history, who love him on Calvary, who love him as the Savior of humankind, as One who has heard the cries of distress and has helped the fallen and the sick and the sad, who has visited those who are in prison and cared for those who have been betrayed—I ask you, in the name of the Savior whom you love, to give him a fair chance in what he claims to be. And let no book quickly written, nor editorial, keep you from stepping upon this rock that is the rock of the future—with living faith in its establishment and power—and saying, “Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And mark you, standing upon this wonderful truth, you will begin to climb. God believes in you all the time and always has, and you will stand upon that rock to help this world and to make the church of Jesus Christ a church of power and influence and to make the community, the city, the nation, and the world a place after God’s own heart.
Holy One, we believe in the power of your Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. We believe in your Holy Word. Upon this rock foundation of Jesus Christ and this living truth, we assemble and continue to stand, trusting that sometime we may hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” Amen.
Written by John Timothy Stone
Pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church (1909–1930)
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