There have been many calls for unity lately, but Jesus seeks a specific type… one that will change the atmosphere and last forever.
“My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You 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. 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 — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You have sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:20-23)
Jesus shows the path in His prayer: ‘Let all the saved be in the Father and Son… just as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. Then the world will know I am who I say I am — the Beloved Son of God and Savior of the world. I have given you the glory My Father gave Me so you may be one and so the Father’s love may be known.’
The rebellious, the violent, the rash, the evil-doers, lovers of themselves, haters of God, the proud… (see II Timothy 3:1-5) can never bring about true unity. Without the Father, Son, and Spirit, even well-meaning, upstanding citizens will not find success. Jesus is the only Way… and as we find our place in Him, light will shine and bring glory to the Father.
The Holy Spirit is faithful to remind us of Jesus’ words. Over and over this summer, we heard a familiar teaching: “I am the Vine and you are the branches. Abide in Me.” What a beautiful picture of unity — a fruitful Vine, tended by a perfect Gardener, thriving in an existence of trust. And there is an obvious truth — without the Vine, the branches can do nothing. (read John 15:1-8)
God will judge all things. We are simply to live confidently in Christ and receive all the fruit of the Spirit. The Lord gives wisdom, compassion, understanding, and love… and these are what our world desperately needs.
“Therefore, judge nothing before its appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring light to what is hidden in darkness and expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” I Corinthians 4:5
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope when you were called — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:2-5