Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

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.



A mother sits on the couch in the narthex, nursing her two-month old.

Two friends share a drink after a long day and talk about their families, their kids, their hopes.

Another mother talks to her stressed-out daughter, assuring her she did the right thing.

A group of volunteers swing hammers and wield saws in the heat of a July sun, tearing down a house destroyed in a tornado so a new one can be built.

A member of our church reads the prayer line and sits to pray for someone newly diagnosed with cancer, or reads a call from our meal train to prepare a dinner for someone sick or recovering.

I don’t need to work hard to image in those scenes because I have seen each of them. They each have something to teach us, and each one offers a word of encouragement that should guide the way we live and warm our hearts, too.

What they have in common is unity, unity of love, unity of heart, unity of purpose. In one way or another, the terrible divisions that separate human souls and pull us apart are overcome in each case. There is oneness in spirit and care, oneness in mission. Hearts are no longer separate but connected.

This oneness feels good because it completes us … and it completes God’s hope for us and all the world, at least in part.

Jesus prayed that this followers, the church, would be one, just as he and the heavenly Father shared inseparable oneness of love and mission. God’s hope and mission is to join us, all of us and all things, in a sea of communal love that is witnessed and experienced, however partially whenever the walls between two hearts and minds collapse and we look at each other with mutual appreciation and understanding.

In this unity of love and purpose, we shine with the same glory that was in Jesus. Our hearts grow large and full yet spacious with plenty of room for others. The need to compete, to prove oneself right or better or smarter than others disappears. The desire to compare ourselves with others goes away and for a moment … with full hearts, free and at peace … we taste and touch the kingdom of God

Pr. David L. Miller

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