Lenten Reflection 3-21-22

Lenten Reflection Day 17 - by Kim Wu

John 17:20-23 I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,  so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

In this chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus is praying before going to the Garden of Gethsemane and setting into motion the chain of events that will take Him to the cross.  So we can assume this prayer contains some of the biggest concerns and desires Jesus has and is expressing to the Father.

What he most wants for us – for you and for me, who are “those who believe in me through their word” – is that we all be one.   He is praying for unity for all believers.

This doesn’t mean we can’t have different denominations and different expressions of our faith, but Christians should stand out in the world because of the work of the Holy Spirit that is operating within us.

We are be a “peculiar community,” as James Bryan Smith describes it in his book, “The Good and Beautiful Community.”  A community reflecting the peace, joy, and love that comes from the Father and Son.

We have to be a community that stands out for our unity, for a radical love for each other and the world, because that is how the rest of the world will come to know Jesus.  Our God is a peculiar God who does not operate like the world operates.  He loves people so much that He became one of them and died for them.   The only way the world is going to believe in this peculiar God is if we are a peculiar people.

Heavenly Father, help us to pour ourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.  We are called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, and we need to stay together, outwardly and inwardly.  We all have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all.  May everything we are and think and do be permeated with Oneness. Amen.  (Based on Ephesians 4:2-6)

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