SCRIPTURE: John 17: 20-23
Reflection: Today there are many denominations. The Church splintered through the centuries not only because of doctrinal differences but also due to greed, power, money and other interests. We talk about unity in diversity in unity but unity eludes us. We sheep-steal and harbour rivalries. We need to return Jesus, the centre of the Church, the Body of Christ. Unity is a gift of God given through Christ. His earnest prayer in John 17:20-16 is for all his followers through the ages to unite as believers.
Jesus prays for the kind of unity that He maintains with God the Father. We, as children of God adopted by grace through Christ must live in unity to remain in fellowship with God and to have unity among ourselves.
Without love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we can neither grow spiritually nor glorify God. The glory of God cannot be revealed or shine through us if we live in isolation from each other. We are not to glorify ourselves but to glorify God. Unity removes focus from us and turns it God-ward.
To preach the gospel of Christ is to bear witness to the scattered flock of this broken world. Jesus prays, ‘the world may believe that you have sent me’. Only through unity can we witness to Christ. In today’s world, Christians influenced by the secularism, open market economy (Empire) and international politics tend towards heroism, rather than the bond of love. Jesus’ love can bring unity and peace.
Prayer: Loving Father, forgive us for the divisions and brokenness among us. Pour your Holy Spirit upon us to renew our hearts and minds that we may able to understand the depth of your love and come together to glorify you. Amen.
Rt. Rev. Paul S. Sarker
Church of Bangladesh
Image credit: Domomato, T. (2016). Interfaith Dialogue. (acrylic on canvas).