Longing to be One

Jesus is emphatic and clear in his prayer with the Father. He longs for us to experience the same perfect unity and love which he shares with the Father. This text is one of the profoundly deep mysteries of God. Yet we can be confident of this - Jesus is praying for us and actively working to bring about this oneness in our lives.

John 17:20-26 (NLT)
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

For Reflection and Prayer:
If something captured your attention - a word, a phrase, an image - let this simmer in you and allow the Spirit to expand its meaning for you. Journal what you hear and your response.

Where have you experienced this oneness with God and also with others? What has that been like for you? Where do you long to experience oneness? Write about these experiences and longings and talk it over in prayer with God.

Quietly rest with God and any consoling words or images given to you in this time of prayer.

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Do You Need God?

Knowing what we need most can be hard to name, but is worth considering.

We often fill our days and our lives with what we think we need, ignoring invitations to go deeper towards what we most need. The stories of Jesus place him right at that very place of inviting another to go deeper, to see their deepest need and hunger for God. Jesus invites us to "eat at the table" with him. He invites us into a relationship of friendship and soul nourishment no matter who we are or how others might see us. God gives us what we most need.

We are invited to come to the table and to follow Jesus into a life of God-permeated and empowered living. As with Levi, we may then have a desire to have our friends be in the conversation with Jesus, too.

Mark 2:13-17 (NLT)
Jesus Calls Levi (Matthew)

Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow me and be my disciple." Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.

Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum?"

When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

For Reflection and Prayer:
What stands out to you as you read/listen to the text?
Where are you in the story?
With whom do you most identify in this story?
What do you sense? What do you need?