Read: “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one”
(John 17:11, NIV).
(John 17:11, NIV).
Think About It: Do you remember “The Yellow Pages?” There was a day when no home or office was without the book where you could “let your fingers do the walking.” It was essential in finding anything from dry cleaning to day care, restaurants to grocery stores, and so much else in between. There was also a section in the yellow pages where you would find the heading “churches.” Underneath that heading were countless subheadings identifying more denominational titles than you would find food options at a Chinese buffet! From one, we have become so many. Take that same concept into most any church. You’ve got the people that always sit on this side of the church or that side of the church. You’ve got the Bible study group and the Wednesday night group. You’ve got the ones that do nothing but Sundays, the ones who do everything in between Sundays, and then those that you’re not quite sure who they are, why they come, and perhaps don’t really put much thought into any of the above. Division and fractions have long been more evident in spaces other than the dark side of math class. Unity is a strong and powerful force. To conquer the unity is to conquer the unit.
Going Deeper: This was the burden weighing on the mind of Jesus as He prayed to the Father. He had come to do what only He could do in bringing salvation to the world through His sacrifice on the cross. He prayed to the Father about what only they could do that would be vital in the furthering of the message of Jesus. Jesus and the Father are one. They, along with the Holy Spirit, are the one and true God. They move as a unit. They thrive in the relationship of agreement in both purpose and mission. Jesus’ prayer was that His followers would learn to live in that reality of “one.” There would be varying degrees of style, opinion, background, and perspective. But if they moved as one unit, they would be a credible carrier of the message of the story of God’s love and grace through Jesus. Dr. James Robison once share it this way, “Satan doesn’t fear a large church. He fears a united church.” When you move in the power of unity, you find that the impact of the unit is greater than that of the individual.
Next Step: Choose to be a part of something bigger than "you." When it comes to life in Christ and in community with those that share in the love of Christ, less really is more. When you are "one" in community with others, you are more encouraged, more equipped, more prepared, and more able to see what God can do through those who love Him. Take a minute and consider what might be available for you to join to enjoy the gift of community. Is there a Bible study you can join or a small group you could take part in? Perhaps there's a team at your church that could benefit as much from you joining their efforts as you? When you are "one" with those who are living for Him, you are "more" like Him.