“… that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” -John 17:23
In Sunday’s Gospel lesson from John 17:20-26, Jesus prays for all disciples who follow him. Including us. His prayer is for unity. The unity of the Son with the Father is to inspire and enable the unity of all Christ’s followers.
Though we are many, we are gathered into one body through Christ our Lord.
Music At Worship
Sunday’s Traditional Worship Music: #496 One Bread, One Body
Jesus prays that all his disciples would be made one in the gospel reading today and we proclaim this truth through the bread and wine of communion where God meets us with this somewhat paradoxical truth: we are the body of Christ, and it is the body of Christ feeding us at that moment.
New Day Worship Song: Make Us One
This worship song implores God to make all of God’s children one. As Jesus gives of his body, we are made into the one body of Christ. In this unity we pray to be pure of heart, righteous in action, and made holy in Jesus’ name.
Reflection on Communion
One of the things I hear the most when the subject of communion comes up is just how special and personal it is to people. Communion is one of those “thin” places in the worship service where we have a chance to interact directly with God. The variety of meanings is clear from conversations I’ve had with many of you and also from the writings on this study page.
And yet, communion is also intensely anti-personal. When we break bread together and share the cup, all our actions point away from our sinful selves and point instead to the God of unbounded grace who will do anything to welcome the stranger. In this light, communion is about a community of people showing the world that God’s love is for all.
As the great hymn, “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” has us sing:
There is welcome for the sinner, and a promised grace made good; there is mercy with the Savior; there is healing in his blood. There is grace enough for thousands of new worlds as great as this; there is room for fresh creations in that upper home of bliss.
For Further Reflection
Our Gospel story is about unity.
In your experience how is unity different from uniformity?
Has there been a time where you experienced being “one with God”? What was happening that helped usher in this experience?
Our Gospel story is also about the power of prayer.
Prayer can reach through divisions, factions, space, and even time.
Think about a time when someone prayed for you. What was this experience like?
When was the last time you verbally prayed with someone?