Scripture: John 17:1-26
Journal: What is God saying to you through the scriptures today? What might it mean to live fully and freely in the life of the Trinity? What does true community look like? Where do you see it? In what ways do you long for more of it? How will you pursue that?
Reflect: Unity is so important. Why else would Jesus pray so adamantly for it? It is a part of God’s very nature. Yes, God is three, but he is also one. And that oneness is meant to offer us, and those around us, a picture of how life was intended to be. When we live in vibrant, loving community, we reflect the beauty and the glory of the Three-in-One God. We participate in his Divine nature. We testify to his goodness and his righteousness and invite the world around us to taste it for themselves: “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8) Thus, life in community is an invitation to enter into the joy and gladness and delight of the life that God has within himself. What an invitation!
“What might it mean to live fully and freely in the life of the Trinity, knowing and loving God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as they know and love each other?” asks R. Thomas Ashbrook. It might mean that we are finally able to love each other fully and freely, because we have finally been fully and freely loved. It might mean that our relationships with one another become marked by self-giving and self-sacrifice, rather than by self-centeredness and self-consumption. It might mean that we begin to really listen to one another and be present to one another and pay attention to one another. It might mean that we create safe space for one another— space filled with belonging and acceptance and love. It might mean that we finally become free enough and brave enough to come out of hiding and be real and honest and vulnerable with each other without the fear of being judged or fixed or criticized. It might mean that it creates a place in which each of us is able to lean into the desire to be more than we currently are. A place where God’s love is so visible and so tangible that people just can’t stay away. I think Jesus would like that.
Pray for unity and oneness today. Pray for deep, rich, loving, genuine community. Pray that our relationships with each other would be a testimony to those around us about what God is really like. Ask God to show you if there is anyone you are not in harmony with at the moment. Ask him what it might look like to seek reconciliation or forgiveness. Ask God to show you what you can do to live more in loving community with those around you.
Closing Prayer: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people dwell together in unity. It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robes. It’s as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. Amen. (Psalm 133:1-3)