Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The One who makes us One

Today’s Reading: John 17:22-23 (NIV)

22 [Jesus said,] “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. 23 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.”

Good morning!

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is when Jesus prays these words: “I in them and you in me.” There is something extraordinary captured at the heart of this profound statement.

Last Saturday, I stood, peering out the large plate glass window in the dining hall of St. Paul’s School of Theology in Kansas City. I couldn’t help but admire the picturesque view of the downtown Kansas City landscape in the distance. Jeff and I enjoyed having lunch with a pastor and friend who serves on staff at the seminary. He was giving us a tour, and as we stood there, Jeff recalled that his aunt had attended college there many years ago. I had forgotten that before St. Paul School of Theology opened the seminary in 1958, this educational institution was a Women’s Bible College. They purposed to prepare women to teach and share the Gospel message around the world. I love looking at old photographs, and the historical pictures displayed in the private dining room adjacent to the dining hall were fascinating to see. I wondered if I was looking into the face of my husband’s aunt captured in these timeless, archived photographs.

Jesus longed for Christians to be united in One body through Him. No matter how much we want it to be so, being united is something we cannot on our own. No amount of wishful thinking could make it so. The greater mystery is how Jesus Christ unites us in His body, even in spite of ourselves! As the Father is in Him, He is in us and it is this gift of grace we celebrate by faith today.

I felt a special link to my husband’s aunt last Saturday. Just knowing that she had been here before me, gave me a renewed sense of belonging. She and I are not only linked through family ties; we are linked through our shared faith in Jesus Christ. We have a common unity, an unbroken chord that transcends all time. She is part of the school’s rich past, and I may become part of its future. I was born in the year this school became a seminary. Now I’ll have to ponder whether that is mere coincidence or holy providence in the pursuit of my vocational call.

Faith is an unbroken bond; a holy mystery, and a gift so totally undeserved. Because the Father lives in Christ, and Christ lives in you and me, we are united as one body, together by faith. We often focus on our differences and the things that separate us. Today, I would challenge you to take a closer look at the One who makes us One in Him.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO



© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.

No comments: