What does it mean to be united?
Prayer is a powerful thing. And it is one of the last things that Jesus did with his disciples. He prayed several things for them. Firstly he mentions eternal life and glory. He says eternal life is all about knowing God and knowing Jesus. In John’s Gospel, the idea of eternal life is very important – it’s not just about living forever, but about a quality of life that is lived in worship and glory of God. As Christians we believe that through knowing Jesus, we will have that eternal life. It’s what heaven is all about – but fluffy clouds don’t really get a mention in the Bible. Heaven is all about knowing Jesus and giving him glory.
Secondly Jesus prays that the disciples might be one. They were a mixed bunch of people, some fishermen, some rich, some political, some a bit dodgy before they knew Jesus. But he wants them to set their differences aside. Sometimes we can all get a bit caught up in the things that divide us rather than seeing what we have in common with others. We know that we’re not like other people (and we’re not) but it is easier to be divided than to work together. What can we do that would help us to be more united with others?
Finally, he prays that God would not take his disciples from the world and all it’s challenges but that they would be protected from the evil one. This is the devil that Jesus is talking about – the source of all that is evil in this world. God doesn’t just remove us from all that is bad, but helps us to fight it and overcome it. We’re not called to be apart from the things we see around us that are not of God and live some sort of perfect separate life, but to bring about good in those places, and fight evil with good. Don’t forget – we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us!
Lord God, we thank you that you care for us so much. We thank you that you prayed that we might be one, that you give us eternal life, and that you help us to fight evil here on earth. Help us in all the battles we face today. Amen.
How can you fight evil with good today?