Pastor’s pondering

            We currently find ourselves in the midst of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. From January 18-25, people all around the world are recalling the necessity for loving our neighbors, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what they may have done.  It is an ecumenical recognition that this is our call as Christians – to love God and love our neighbor.

            One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Jesus’ prayer found in the Gospel of John, chapter 17.  There, he prays for exactly this – unity amongst the believers.  At one point, the Gospel conveys that after having prayed for the disciples he was with, Jesus continues to say, “I ask not only on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, 21 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. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23, NRSV).  Jesus’ prayer was that all his followers, all Christians would be one.  One with each other.  One in and through him.

            I think in today’s world we concentrate far too much on what separates us.  We make our differences such large obstacles that we fail to see all the things where we are the same.  Certainly, many of our differences are to be celebrated.  God made us uniquely who we are.  Yet, this does not mean that our uniqueness makes us special or better than someone else.  God made our differences to be able to complement one another.  It is the coming together as one that we can truly see the miracle of God’s creation at work in the world.  Brothers and sisters of the Kingdom of God working together to make things better – that is the gift we have been given to give to one another.

            So, perhaps, for these next few days we can all seriously ponder – where are we being called to be united with one another?  Where are we being called to set aside our differences and focus on The One who has called us to live life together?  I think that is when we will see Jesus’ prayer for us become a reality.

                                                            Always pondering,

                                                            Pastor Steve

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