Tumbling in the Sand
The texts for Sunday, May 20, 2012: Acts 1:15–17, 21–26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9–13; and John 17:6–21. (Also mentioned: Acts 2:7-11)
… And Jesus’ prayer for us?
“that they may all be one. As you, Father, 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.”
That we may be one.
The other things in the prayer apply to us too:
protection and sanctification in truth,
but this repeats itself: “that they may be one.”
“…that they all may be one.”
It sometimes feels like Jesus’ prayer wasn’t answered.
I think I pass four churches on my route just between Immanuel and Salem
all extremely different from one another.
And at one point, those churches would likely have told you that all the rest were wrong and they were right.
Indeed, many people still hear that from the pulpit on a Sunday
and many people still remember hearing that—maybe even from this pulpit.
I’m grateful that I have not heard much of that in my life
I’m grateful for the work of many bridge-builders who have been all about dialogue and working together.
People who took this prayer of Jesus seriously and want to see the followers of Jesus really be one.
It is a worthwhile prayer for so many reasons.
When we don’t work together we hurt each other and the message of the good news, the promise of life abundant
is marred by old hurts, damaging rules, and killer ideologies.
When we are not one, we spend energy and resources fighting with each other
rather than binding up each other’s wounds.
When we are bound and determined to split the followers of Christ
into categories of in and out
of us and them
of who’s got God figured out and who hasn’t
we limit ourselves from the wideness of God’s mercy
and lock ourselves out of the broadness of God’s grace.
When we are not one
we dwell on what makes us different:
our cultures, our pasts, our theology, our ideology, our polity
and we forget about the love of God that makes us one
and gives us life.
But what does oneness look like? …
*errata: Apparently, I like making up numbers (a professor once said, I like to use numbers of adjectives). Ignore how many years that I say Lee and I have been married … I get it right most days, I exaggerate a bit in this recording.