Saturday After Ash Wednesday – February 29, 2020

Read John 17:20-26

One might argue that our Lord’s high priestly prayer was for His twelve disciples.  He says in verse 6, “You gave them to me…” which seems to indicate that He is talking to the Father about the twelve.  However, the first verse in today’s reading sets the record straight:  “My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message…”  We are inheritors of the Kingdom because we have believed in Jesus “through their message.”  He is praying for us!

And what does the Lord pray for us?  “That they may all be one.”  What does that oneness look like?  “Father, just as You are in Me, and I am in You, may they also be in us…”  Jesus tells the Father about His hope, and prays that the fruits of this oneness may be “that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”  Jesus has  prayed that we might all be set apart in Him, that our identity may be in Christ.  It matters not if we are black or white, Baptist or Catholic, refugee or rich man; our Lord’s prayer is that we may all be one in Him.  That does not happen because we all worship the same way, or vote the same ticket, or look alike and dress alike.  It happens only by God’s grace, when His people obey His Word, and live according to the Truth.  Thy Word is Truth!

Unity, though, appears to have escaped the grip of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.  Sadly, His Body is heavily divided around innumerable man-made lines.  And each time we disagree with someone and separate from them rather than seek reconciliation, we create more division.  Mark’s departure from Paul and Barnabas ended up causing the two apostles to separate from each other.  They could not agree.  But it was the grace of God and humble reconciliation that brought healing to Mark, and restoration of relationship with Paul.  Our Lord’s prayer was answered.  And Mark gladly shares that Good News in his Gospel.

One thought on “Saturday After Ash Wednesday – February 29, 2020

  1. A powerful reminder that “it ain’t about me”… 🙄 and I need to get over myself. (Why do you always manage to do that? Just tap=dance all over my toes?? 😆)
    That last paragraph, to me, really drives it home. I think that, too often, we mistake unity for absolute agreement, forgetting that “the body is made up of that which every joint supplies”. You & I don’t always agree on doctrinal issues, but we can always come back to the basics (Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, sinless life, died for our sins, rose again, lives today) and agree there. Once we do that, everything else seems to take its proper place.
    Perhaps, if we focused more on being one with Jesus, we’d find it easier to be one with each other.
    “…it was the grace of God and humble reconciliation that brought healing…” We’re good with the grace of God part, but oooooohh, the “humble” part? Not so much. Could it be that something as simple as pride keeps me from humbling myself with my brother in order to be reconciled? Ultimately, I get to choose. I can either be “right”, or I can be obedient. Heavenly Father, help me to always choose the latter.

    Like

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