Monday, May 2, 2011

Many One

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. John 17:1-11

Over the weekend we traveled to Allentown for our daughter Ariel's baby shower. Her sisters, Emily and Ariel had put the event together in a local restaurant and about 30 people came out to wish her well. The men went off and played golf while the girls and two children ate, played baby games and opened presents. It was a wonderful celebration and good family time when we could all be together. This little child, soon to be, brought folks together, and I was reminded how one little child indicated the true joining of many families from across so many different cultures, clans and races. One little child symbolizing the hope of a new generation where we have more in common than what separates us. Each of us, in our time was that symbol to our predecessors. We are each hope for the coming generations if we are willing to see ourselves, no matter how different, as part of one extended family.

Jesus, in his final moments with his disciples, is urging them, in prayer, to see their commonality, their inter-reliance and the gifts they are from God to one another. The true gift of love from God is that we are made as one family in this temporal life, this short experiment we are integral parts of one another. Not disparate factions, nor enemies, but joined in love by God through the sacrifice of Christ. How often we dwell on our differences, and yet, in spite of all that pulls us apart, we are bound together through a bond of love richer and deeper than all the enmity we can sow.

Today, I want to rejoice in the gift of family, bloodlines and extended family that reaches around the world in prayer and love. In faith, we are joined together, no matter what language or tribe, and the care of the other is our care. The love of the other is our gift. May we all rejoice that we are knit into this amazing family by the love of God who knows us all as beloved children, all at the table, all welcome and at home.

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