God’s people celebrate diversity and strive for unity.
“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 sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Unity Marches Victorious in Diversity
When the question “What’s your favorite food?” is asked to a large group of people, there are many answers—cheeseburgers; pizza; spaghetti; maybe even a few people would answer Brussel sprouts or green beans.
People are different that way. Not just when it comes to food, though. But also in our fashion sense, our musical genres, our choice of entertainment and more.
“Different” is a good thing. Our God loves variety. He created a vibrant different world exploding with plenty of different colors, shapes, and sizes.
“Different” is a good thing. But only so far as being “different” doesn’t harm the unity our God wants us to have in worship and praise of his holy name.
In our reading today, Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane. He will shortly be betrayed, arrested, beaten, and then nailed to a piece of wood. All of what awaited him is what causes us amazement as he spends this precious time before his suffering and death praying about… others.
Listen again as the Son of Man prays, “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.” In a world of diversity, unity in Christ Jesus marches victorious.
And why? Because wherever you come from, no matter what your abilities are, no matter your favorite food or musical genre, Jesus Christ died for you. His victory is your victory. His resurrection from the dead is proof that your every sin is forgiven and that heaven is your home.
You may never eat a Brussel sprout—unless it’s wrapped in bacon. You may not be a fan of certain kinds of music, and romantic comedies may just put you to sleep. You might be different… and that’s okay. “Different” is good, as long as we are united in Christ Jesus—together praising him and proclaiming his holy name for all to hear.
Prayer: Be with me today, Lord Jesus, as I live in a world not unified to serve you alone. By your Word and sacrament, fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may live to glorify you and proclaim your holy name. Amen.