Easter 7 :: Relationship-in-Community

A clergyman once remarked to Sir John Barbirolli how he wished he could fill his church building the way Sir John and the Halle Orchestra filled every seat of a large concert hall.  The conductor replied, "You could, if you had a hundred members who worked together as well as the members of this orchestra."

In our fairly short passage this week from St. John’s Gospel, we hear the word “one” four times and some form of the word “love” five times. It is evident from this [and from many other similar passages in the Gospels] that Jesus’ prime desire for the friends he was going to be leaving behind, was that they live into their oneness as a community grounded in love. This being one-in-love comes from the example set forth for them [and us!] by Jesus’ close relationship with God the Father. The unity of the Godhead is grounded in the love shared among and between the three persons of the Holy Trinity: Creator God, Redeemer Christ, and Sustainer/Advocate Spirit. Their perfect relationship-in-community provides the example for all meaningful models of community.

This same relationship-in-community is my vision of what it would look like if all Christians actually quit arguing over doctrinal differences and seriously tried to live into the prayer of Jesus: “…that they may all be one. As you, Father, 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.”

Unity is not something we can achieve.

It is something we have already been given.

We just have to open our eyes to see it.

AMEN.

Link to RCL Lectionary for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year C

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