Scripture Text: John 17.20-26 (The Message)
Jesus prays . . .
I’m praying not only for them but also for those who will believe in me because of them and their witness about me.
Jesus prays for his disciples and Jesus prays for us, the ones who come after the disciples, the ones who will believe in him, trust in him, love in him, because of those very disciples who so failed him in his own lifetime. And there Jesus is, praying for them, for us, and here we are today, the answer to his prayer. Extraordinary and humbling as it is, we are the answer to Jesus’ own prayer.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind— Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
We are called to a oneness with the Very Creator of All – but what is Jesus’ goal? That we be of one heart and one mind with . . . God! Then – then, when we are of one heart and mind with God, then – might – the world believe that God sent Jesus.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them, So they’ll be as unified and together as we are— I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, And give the godless world evidence That you’ve sent me and loved them In the same way you’ve loved me.
The same glory – the same shiny-like-a-penny newness – the same glow-in-the-dark love light – that glory, that same glory that God gave Jesus, Jesus gives us. And that glory light is a unifying thing – nobody takes a bad picture in God’s lighting and it’s always a group picture. Unified we become matured, ripened; and then will we be exhibit A to the world that God sent Jesus, and sent him in love – a love that extends through Jesus to us and through us to the world.
Father, I want those you gave me To be with me, right where I am, So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me, Having loved me Long before there ever was a world.
God loved Jesus before there was even ground for him to stand on. God planned for Jesus and gave him birth. And those are the shoes Jesus would have us stand in as well – the Jesus shoes – standing upon the solid ground of God’s own creating love. It is a splendor thing, this kind of love. It might be standing right in the middle of the worst day that ever was, and yet, and still, there is splendor and glory.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you, But I have known you, and these disciples know That you sent me on this mission. I have made your very being known to them— Who you are and what you do— And continue to make it known, So that your love for me Might be in them Exactly as I am in them.
Paul says that we only see God as through wavy carnival glass, that is to say, we don’t see God very well at all. But Jesus says: the world may not know you, Lord, but I do. What Jesus knows of God is who God is and what God does. And what Jesus knows, we know. Why would Jesus give us such knowledge? So that God’s own love for Jesus would be and become a real thing – living in us as surely as it lived and lives in Jesus himself. That is the unity of which Jesus speaks – the unity of Love.
Jesus prayed and Love was born.
God dreamed and a world was born.
Peter preached and a faith was born.
God imagined and life was born.
Paul taught and a people was born.
God loved and we were born.