The first two Sundays of July were focused on Christian unity. In what has been called “the priestly prayer” from the gospel of John, Jesus prays for his followers. In the setting, Jesus is alone, praying this long prayer. Who wrote down the prayer? Who recorded it?
It is a memory of what Jesus meant to a community of Christians over a hundred years after the death and resurrection event. It is their understanding of what Christ would hope for them in their current circumstance. In my sermon on July 2nd, I reflected on the impulse to seek Christian unity that was part of our heritage as a denomination. In our current circumstance, I imagined Christ might pray for us, something like this:
“Father, I have made you known to those you gave me. They are yours and they are trying to keep your word. Give them the power to be still and know you, to be still and know you are also theirs. Protect them, even from themselves God. Interrupt their thoughts with your grace to remember they are yours and you are theirs. Open their hearts to see into the hearts of their neighbors. Give them courage to gaze upon your compassion that pulses through them and patches the world together. And through this they will come to recognize and realize that they already are one, with you, with me, with each other, with all of creation.”