Unity, providence, and promise. There's surely something there that will preach...
Verses 20-21 are cited through an editorial insert in Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article 11: Election (Ep 11.22) in the concluding prayer of the first eleven articles asking for unity among those who follow the teachings of the Augsburg Confession.
Verse 20 by itself is quoted (and elided with verse 17) in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 2: Free Will (SD 2.51) in the middle of several scriptural quotes showing how God provides for the proclamation of the gospel.
Verse 24 is cited in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 8: Person of Christ (SD 8.65) along with 1 Corinthians 13:12 (through editorial insert) citing Jesus' promise that we will see his glory in the next life.
I think we Lutherans could benefit from consistently and publicly praying the simple, one sentence prayer from the Epitome (Ep 11.22), especially as we prepare for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. But enough editorializing.
- How do we lift up God's providence of proclamation of the gospel without conflating God's work with human institutions?
- What role does the promise of seeing Jesus in all his glory play in our lives?
- How do we follow the lead of the unity God provides in the Spirit and work for the visible unity of the institutions of the church?