"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity...."
John 17 is the longest recorded prayer of Jesus. He prays briefly for Himself, then for His disciples, and then for all those who would believe in Him thereafter. Verses 20-25 are the written words of Jesus praying for us. Let that sink in. Jesus is prayerfully lifting you and me to the Father’s heart. Isn’t that amazing? The loving communion between the Father and the Son is palpable, and Jesus prayerfully draws us into that same affectionate unity. Oneness is the repetitive theme of this prayer.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reports that, as of 2011, there were approximately 41,000 Christian denominations worldwide. Wow. That is a staggering figure. It is safe to say that we have seriously strayed from the oneness that Jesus longingly prays for prior to His arrest and crucifixion.
Is it too late to begin to reunite the fractured clans of believers who agree on 99.9% of their theology but part ways over trivial things? It’s never too late. Perhaps you are someone God will use to lead with love.
Jesus calls us to be "inclusive" rather than "exclusive" in pursuit of the oneness He desires to see in His Church.