In John 17, Jesus prays to the Father one last time before he is arrested, mocked, beaten, and nailed to a cross. And you know who he prayed for? He prayed for us. That always amazes me. But because he fiercely loves his followers—past, present, and future, he prayed to the Father for one very specific thing.


He says…I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me …..that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father. I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one…..May they be brought to complete UNITY. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. (NIV & NLT)

Jesus encountered the cross praying for us to be ONE.

God gave Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth—and Jesus chose to build His church. According to Matthew 16, Jesus is both the owner and the builder of His church—His goal was never to have just a bunch of Christians, but instead, a connected community, a family, a body, a team. Jesus knew his church needed a foundation of Unity. Becoming one was essential for His church to show the world the outrageous love of the Father.

Jesus knows we need more Unity today.

When Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, he echoed the heart of Jesus by encouraging unity. Ephesians 4:4-6 (NIV) There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Notice that Paul uses the word “one” over and over in these verses. It’s as if he’s saying, “This is our foundation, this is what matters, this is who we are. These 7 things define us and unite us to one another, to the glory of God. We won’t agree on everything Church—but we MUST see eye to eye on these 7”.

One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father.

It’s awesome to have a personal relationship with Jesus, but it was never supposed to be an isolating thing,—rather an inclusive one, requiring you and me to live life with other believers. The Church of Jesus Christ was not designed to be a Sunday event to attend, but a people to serve and commit to.

We are beautifully diverse—and One body
We have different gifts—and One Spirit
We have different histories—and One hope & future
We have different temptations—and One Lord
We have different stories—and One Faith
We have different sin struggles—and One baptism
We have different families—and One God and Father overall, through all and in all.
May we be ONE Church.

Donielle Winter

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