Lectionary Reflection: John 17: 20-26 A Prayer for You and Me

Jesus prays for us.  Well, we know that.  We have heard that before:  Who is there to condemn?  Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us…  But did you ever look at the prayer he has for us?  It is very different from what is called the Lord’s Prayer.

He asks that we may be one with him, which is to say one with God.  For us to be in God and God in us.  He says we already have the glory of God by which we can be one with each other and so, he asks us to come into compete unity.  One with Love.  One with glory.  One with each other.  One with Jesus.  Of one mind, one heart, one purpose, one.

Yeah man.  But what on earth does this mean?

Obviously the oneness is not self-evident, but apparently it is important for the “world” to see oneness in order to believe in Jesus.  To that end, the prayer includes one conditional or incomplete clause and one expression of desire (asking).  The desire is that we may be with him, where he is, but of course that won’t be the case until we die.  The incomplete clause, though, is present time:

“May they be brought to compete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (NIV).

What?  Catholics and Baptists together?  How about Orthodox and non-denominational, Amish and Anglican, Coptic and Lutheran, Pentecostal and Presbyterian?  Get real.  Some people are still fighting the hundred years war.  How can we ever be one, and does the gospel suffer because of our division?  I don’t honestly know how to be one, but yes, the gospel clearly suffers…

You know the story of the two Germans, two Frenchmen and two Dutch who were lost on a deserted island.  The Germans said, “We are the great builders of the world.  We will see to our shelter.”  And the Frenchmen said, “We are the great chefs of the world.  We will see to our nourishment.”  So the Dutch said, “That leaves us with the spiritual dimension.”  So they started the first Reformed Church…………………………and the Second Reformed Church.

Well, I was thinking that there actually is one thing that unites us.  Jesus.  He suffered and was crucified.  He died and was buried. He rose on the third day.  He ascended to Heaven where he prays for us.  Yes, and we need that prayer.  That he may be in us, and the love of God may be in us.  We certainly need that love.  Maybe that can help us be as one. 

Maybe all we need to do is hug one another and love one another, and give thanks to Jesus.  Honestly, we need to forget race, creed, color, national origin and denomination.  There really is only one division, one discrimination in this world that makes sense.  There are those who belong to Jesus and there are those who need to belong to Jesus.  So maybe we could just try Jesus and his love…

Let me ask:  Have you hugged a fellow Christian today?  Have you hugged someone who goes to a different church and together thanked Jesus for his death and resurrection?  Let the non-believers see this.  What?  Am I the only dreamer?

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