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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Amen: Agreeing Together

The week of the long walk to the cross is underway. The text slows down remarkably, and we are given glimpses into the last intimate moments of instruction and wisdom mingled with love and compassion that our Rabbi Jesus offers to his disciples.

This text may invoke a longing to be in agreement with God through prayer: that place where our innermost desires become unified and we long for the same thing. As we become more like Jesus, these desires increasing shift from being externally imposed on us to springing up from a well within.

As we enter into prayer, we may ask ourselves, "am I having faith in God or the outcome of my prayer?"

Mark 11:20-25 (NIV)

20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

For Reflection and Prayer:

What word(s) or phrase(s) in the passage call out to you?

What prayers has God placed in your heart? What doubts do you have about these prayers? Bring these into conversation with God.

Where are you noticing that your desires are aligning with God's desires? Journal what you notice.

Is anything (or anyone) blocking your freedom to come to God in prayer? Invite God to show you - offering and receiving forgiveness as the Holy Spirit prompts.

God: Working through All, Present in All

As we mature in our relationship with God there are marked changes in how we live. We can notice a growing humility and disciplined desire for God, a steady movement forward, giving of oneself in acts of love, becoming quick to forgive. The Holy Spirit, the agent of these changes, fosters unity and oneness, instead of dissension and fragmentation.

Pay attention to this divine action, always at work and present in all. What the enemy of our soul wants to steal, kill and destroy, Christ has taken back, restored, healed and made new. Open your heart to receive what Christ is handing out that is for you!

Ephesians 4:1-13 The Message

To Be Mature
In light of all this, here's what I (Paul) want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk--better yet, run!--on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline--not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is,

He climbed the high mountain,
He captured the enemy and seized the booty,
He handed it all out in gifts to the people.

  • What phrase or word spoke to you as you listened/read?

  • What does this tell us about God?

  • What does it mean to you to be one with God and one with all creation?

  • How do you hear God speaking to your life in this text?