“I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17 (NIV84)
Daily Devotional Series
Grace & Truth Day 17
Reading – John 17
When Noah was little every time we went to the store or every time he saw a toy commercial he would ask us, “Can I have…?” And we would have to say, “No.” and of course he would get upset, sometimes more than others. That gets really tiring after a while so Amiren and I came up with “The List.” The List represented the Christmas and birthday lists where he could put all the things that he wanted. He could ask can I have that and instead of saying no we would respond put it on the list. He Wouldn’t get upset and we didn’t have to say “no.” Life was good. At the end of the day, he received the things that we wanted him to have. As a parent, our list trumps his. And where those lists found unity, it was magic. Everyone was happy. but our list still trumps his.
We often have a long list of things we want from God, but God has his own list for us and his list always trumps ours. We see that in the reading today. One thing he wants for us is unity, unity with him and unity with each other. He knows that when we are unified magic happens. But when we fight with him and with each other, people are not drawn to Christ, they are repelled, because we would be just like anyone else. causing strife, hurt, in pain.
Christians have a long history of not being unified. You can see multiple churches in a town, birthed not out of mission but out of division. It happens when we focus on our own list, our wants and our desires instead of focusing on what Christ wants for us. Even now, people are worried if our church is going to be Lutheran enough. While I am proud of my heritage, my admittedly flippant response is, Lutherans have only been around for 500 years, what did God do before that? We are not God’s gift to the world, Jesus is. If we retrain our focus on him, we will be alright. We will be unified and magic will happen.