When Jesus looks upon the church

Sunday Evening of May 12

From Sunday’s sermon on John 17

…When Jesus prays that we would be one, he is praying that we would embody all the honor of being a beloved people of God, sisters and brothers of the Messiah who governs the universe – and that we would live our lives in such a way as to protect the honor of the family and of God: courage, generosity, kindness, openness, compassion, humility, service…

…We have been born into the most honorable family in the universe.  We want to uphold that honor…If I do not feel generous, I need to commit to learn generosity for the sake of Christ.  If I am not welcoming to outsiders, I need to commit to learn hospitality for the sake of Christ…

When Jesus looks

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word.” (John 17:20)

When Jesus looks upon the church, the community of his disciple/students, he sees not only what is but what shall be.

He sees not only those who have followed him from Galilee but those who are yet to hear and respond in trust and allegiance.  He sees not only the 120 but the worldwide communion extending through the generations.  He sees not only the few gathered in a Sunday morning congregation, but all those whose lives they will touch throughout the week.  He sees not only those who have arrived early to the party, but all those who are waiting in the wings to become part of the community of joy.  And he prays for all.

And he sees not only a church divided, but the city adorned like a bride.  He sees not only our frail, imperfect communities, but the perfection that is to come – even as he sees us each, not in our torn and tattered tunics, but dressed in the garments provided by the King at the royal wedding banquet.

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