Yr C ~ Easter 7 ~ John 17:20-26
It’s a pretty tall order, even for Jesus. That they may all be one. Who are they? We are. All of us. Everyone! Jesus begins today’s scripture reading by praying for his disciples and followers but then his prayer extends out far beyond the insiders and includes everyone who those insiders will ever encounter and interact with. That’s everyone. And Jesus’ prayer is that everyone be one.
Are we? Even in here, in this sanctuary, in this church, are we one?
How about this Presbytery? Are we one in the United Church of Canada?
How about beyond our denomination? Are we one with those of other expressions of Christianity? Or beyond?
What does this “oneness” thing mean? What is Jesus praying for?
Well, it isn’t uniformity, or even agreement. It’s not that we all have to believe the same way about the same things. It’s ok for some people to be Leafs fans and others to be…wrong. We don’t have to all think the same way, but to be one we all do have to resonate with the same Spirit.
Jesus isn’t praying for lock-step, orthodox, theological conformity. He’s praying for a deep relationship. Unfortunately, in his effort to describe the depth of the interconnectedness of that relationship, he kind of seems like he’s talking in circles if you read him too quickly. So let’s read him slowly!
John 17:21b As you, Father (or Mother, or whatever language helps you), are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. read on