Scripture: John 17:20–26
Key verses: (22-23) 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.
Reflection: It is a great thing – being one with another. In marriage, two become one as one person shares hopes, dreams, and struggles with another. Saying the Apostle’s Creed together in church makes us one with people of faith across thousands of years of church. Screaming with the crowd as your team wins the finals unites you with something much bigger than yourself. We know, at least in part, what becoming one is about, just from our human experience.
But this is something more. Jesus is praying and saying that we can become one with God just as Jesus was one with God. Whole religious traditions have evolved in devotion to the pursuit of oneness with the divine. Jesus says we can have that. In him.
The closeness that Jesus had with God the Father is available to us, not just for the sake of divine oneness itself. The oneness that Jesus offers is for a much bigger purpose – that the world will know that God sent his Son into the world to show God’s love for each of us. Our oneness is not because we have become one with God. It is because God has become one with us, reaching out to us, redeeming us, loving us. Our oneness with God is so the world might see and believe that God truly loves the whole, wide world and all of us in it. In Christ, we become one with God so that when people see us and the way we live, they see God’s love for them.
Prayer: Holy God, gracious Christ, expansive Spirit, we yearn to become one with you. Help us to get out of ourselves and into your loving embrace. Help us to live so fully into that embrace that the world will see and believe and know the amazing gift of your love for all of us. This we pray in the name of the One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].