G'ampa C's Blog

Sunday, June 17, 2007

That they may be One

I have been musing this week about what separates us and what makes us one. When I muse, I often write to sort it out. Here are some excerpts:

Jesus prayed in the garden before he was betrayed. He knew what was coming. He had anticipated it all his life, but it was not going to be easy. What was so important that he spent his time in prayer that night over it? He prayed for the cup to pass from him, he prayed for his disciples, then he prayed for the church. He prayed for all who believed in him through the disciples message ("believers"). He prayed for us to be one.
We are called to be one, in the midst of our differences. Jesus, as he prayed in the garden, said he was one with the Father, yet he wanted something very different at that moment. Did he not pray "Let this cup pass from me." and "Not my will, Father, but yours" (the implication being that they did not want the same thing)? The human side of Jesus wanted out, and it was not in agreement with God's will. They didn't agree, but they were still one. How does that work, exactly, and why has that not always been so clear? They were one, not because they had no differences, but without consideration of their differences. Differences between us do not limit or control oneness, they simply limit and control sameness. They were one because God loved and Jesus was prepared to die. I am one with my brothers and sisters because God loved and Jesus died. Period. Because I am in Christ, I am one with my brother in that event, the single most important event in history. What we share in that event makes everything new between us. Our differences in worship, traditions and preferences have no relevance. We are in Christ together.
As humans, we tend to notice how others are different from ourselves, but we take it a step beyond when we begin to believe anyone different from us is wrong. We hear the call of Christ that we be one, but we have defaulted to being the same. Sameness and oneness are not synonymous; they are not even close. Seeking sameness in our churches and religion divides us at every turn, because WE CAN NOT BE THE SAME. We have tried for two thousand years completely without success. It is quite impossible. We, as humans, are not spiritual robots. God does not make us all the same, like some mass-produced windup toy. He gives the freedom of choice, even at the risk of our salvation. Having that freedom means we will each be different. If I am to seek to be one with my brothers and sisters, it must arise not from our sameness, but in the recognition that God loves and Jesus died, without consideration of our differences. In the sharing of that recognition, I find the peace to seek oneness with those very different from myself.


  • At 9:22 AM, Blogger Serena Voss said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 9:25 AM, Blogger Kathy said…

    Hey there,

    We've been having a discussion about this on the Faith board I've mentioned. Would it be okay with you if I were to copy and paste this down thread at Home Talk's Faith board? You have said what I've been bumbling around trying to say. Your assistance allowing me paste this over there would be such a help. All this requested with the caveat that this is YOUR blog and you have all authority to say "yeah" or "nay" :)

    In His love, grace and mercy

  • At 9:28 AM, Blogger Serena Voss said…

    For insight into "oneness", I look to the scriptural metaphors of the body and of marriage. There is much there to stimulate discussion as to what unity is and is not.

    As simplistic as this sounds, I have thought a lot about unity in those terms lately. More later, gotta run.....

  • At 6:54 PM, Blogger G'ampa C said…

    Use whatever you like. I have lots more in my musing file on the subject, and will bring you a printout if you like. One of these days I have to learn to get it from WP 11 to blog and back...
    I write things like this because it helps me sort out the truth, somehow.

    Yes, exactly. I think God wants us to view each other as parts of ourselves; intimately joined in him, tied together like parts of the same body.

  • At 6:37 AM, Blogger Kathy said…

    Thank you so much! I'm posting it this morning. In fact, in just a few moments. Again, bless you as you bless me and so many others with your loving friendship!!


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