“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:22)
Our Bible reading today is from a beautiful prayer that Jesus offered just before he was arrested and crucified. This is the longest prayer of Jesus that is recorded in the Bible. It also provides some of his most profound teaching about prayer.
Here we can focus on two important truths.
First, Jesus prays for his followers. He prays for their protection and their unity. He asks that his followers share the unity or oneness that Jesus shares with his Father — “that they may be one as we are one.” Through Jesus’ unity with the Father, we belong to Jesus and we belong to each other. Like Jesus, we should pray continually for unity with our sisters and brothers.
Second, our unity in Christ is not an end in itself. We are Christ’s body for sharing his love with each other and with the world. The Holy Spirit uses our unity to draw others to Jesus, and Jesus unites them with the Father as well. Our oneness in Christ is our most powerful witness.
Sadly, though, the unbelieving world too often sees us bitterly squabbling with each other. As Jesus prayed for our unity, let’s keep praying for the church’s unity so that Christ may be glorified in the world through us.
Father, thank you for the unity we have through Jesus, your Son. Please, by your Spirit’s power, unify us to be a powerful witness of your love. Amen.