John 17:20-22 (The Message)

March 19th 2020

Jesus is speaking: “I’m praying not only for them but also for those who will believe in me because of them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind— just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me.” John 17:20-22 (The Message)

Have you noticed the tone of social media has changed? There are still a few hold outs – a few political jabs at one side or the other – but where that used to be the vast majority, now I am seeing post after post – tweet after tweet of uplifting, hope filled messages of love.
There is power in unity. Jesus has been telling us this for 2000 years. He prayed for this – prayed for the people of God to know that unity does not mean uniformity. Each of us, created in God’s image – each with different personalities, different backgrounds, different cultural identities, different faith practices… each of us created in the image of the same God.
Unity, in Jesus’ prayer from John 17 is all about living lives that reflect Godly love. Love that directs us to worry as much about our neighbor as it does about ourselves.
Love that sees the best in other people – not the worst.
Love that prays for health and healing for all people, not just a select few.
This is the kind of love I’m seeing all over social media. From musicians hosting free, streamed concerts to lift the spirits of a house bound nation to religious leaders lifting up prayers for all people around the world – not just their own tribe.
May we add to the voices of love and hope – and may these voices unite to create a sense of peace around the world.
For our prayer, I want to use a tweet sent by Pope Francis on Wednesday, March 18th.
Let us Pray: Our God is near and asks us to be near to one another. Perhaps right now we cannot draw near physically to others for fear of contagion, but we can reawaken in ourselves a habit of drawing near to others through prayer and mutual help. Amen.