“I in them and you in me. That they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”-John 17:23
Western individualism can lead to the impression that we are wholly separate from God and one another. We may give lip service to Jesus’s words that his Spirit dwells within us, but I wonder how often we live inside of that reality. A core theme of Jesus’s high priestly prayer in John 17 is oneness. He prayed about the mutual indwelling of Father and Son, but he also prayed for the unity of his followers. Pursuing unity does not mean that we are supposed to sacrifice our identities and extinguish what makes us unique. Rather, our individual uniqueness contributes to the beauty of a colorful mosaic. In a mosaic, what alone appears to be only a broken shard of glass is an essential element of a larger, unified whole that reflects the beauty and glory of a relational God.
Jesus, what a high and holy calling! You prayed that your church would be “perfectly one.” I confess that the realization of your prayer seems impossible as I look at the world and the church. Lead me out of discouragement and into a hope that your people can love one another so well that the world cannot help but notice. Amen.