Red Letter Day 42: That They May Be One

2015 Lent Blog

Tuesday March 31

group-hands“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you 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.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
(John 17:18-23)

This passage is a little later from Jesus speaking and praying with the disciples in the upper room on Holy Thursday. He is thinking about the disciples being sent out into the world and all of those who will hear and believe the message of Jesus. The focus of this prayer is that the disciples be united or one. Unity is a hard thing to find in the world today. I think our society is gradually drifting to being a collection of individuals rather than being as united as we once were.

A few years back there was a book entitled, Bowling Alone, that studied the major drops in group activities. I think this change has even accelerated since this book was written in 2000, with the universal rise of smart phones in our society. I am amazed watching kids now not even look at each other but have text conversations even when they are nearby.

Jesus prays that we be united and I think these words are even more important today for us in our world. Only in person can have an appreciation from someone singing off key next to you in church, because you know that they are loved by Jesus, not because of their voice, but just because that is the way Jesus loves. When alone I can mistakenly think I am always right. With others I am reminded that we all share incredible blessings and grace from Jesus. That is what Jesus prays we share with each other and with the world.

In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Dave

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