Thursday, February 17, 2011

Week 4 - Oneness, Not Sameness

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
John 17:21

Although it may sound pessimistic, when we’re honest, we know that it is true: there is nothing in the world – no system, no politics, no economy, or cause – that is going to make us one. The world operates in a system of self-preserving power; it insists that the only way to live with another is to coerce conformity. Sadly, the Church has operated similarly at times. But this is not the way of Jesus; He operates in self-surrendering love.
In one of his letters, St. Paul gives us a picture of what living in this kind of love is meant to look like:
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ…. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”… If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” [1 Corinthians 12:12, 19-21, 26-27]
God is not calling us to sameness, but to oneness. We will always be distinct in who we are, but God provides His own love as the bond to create connection where the world would mark separateness. When one of us suffers, we all feel it. When one hungers, we all go without. When one of us finds joy, we all celebrate. As we take on Jesus’ life of self-surrendering love, oneness not only becomes possible, but the norm.
The Real Question: Do experience life as part of the Body of Christ? Do I hurt when others hurt, celebrate when others celebrate? Do I really live as one?
Family Talk: Share with you children the differences you see in them. Be sure to include how putting those differences together as a family makes you a stronger more complete family.
ONE in Prayer: Jesus, I thank you for the beauty who You have created me to be in Your Body, the Church. Please help me to see and value others in the Body, and to cherish and protect the bond of love for which You paid the ultimate price. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I like this distinction: not same but one. Did you know the word "church" is not used before the book of Acts (as meaning the group of followers of Jesus)? Church was and is a new entity, best described as a Oneness with Christ and each other.