Then the World Will Know

In all my time of writing for the Word From Below, in all the reflections I have submitted, I have never felt a text so relevant and impossible as the prayer of unity we find in our lectionary text this week. In my country, and in many places around the world, it seems that division is at the center of our cultures and our identities. It feels like our unity is defined by enemies — by what we stand against, more than what we stand for. Is that true unity? Is that where our identity should be found?

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“Union?”

Before we got married, my wife had these words engraved on our wedding ring, “to our dream.” The first time I read them, I wasn’t sure how to respond. So, I just smiled and said something like, “how thoughtful.”

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Oneing

In our Lenten journey we are nearing the cross, the place where Jesus will make visible that to which we are blind and change the way we see forever. We will see the excluded one give birth to a new kind of community that is scapegoat free.

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May they be One

Unity does not mean uniformity, but to remain in love, despite all tensions and all conflicts. It’s a love that creates a deep unity, like that which exists between Jesus and the Father. The unity in love revealed in the Trinity becomes the standard for our own relationships.

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Union

To be one “as we are one.” Yes, this really is the heart of it! To become one. Union. Intimacy. The Gospel of Jesus opens us up to the possibility of becoming one in a way that seems utterly impossible – to enjoy unity without being in rivalry with anyone or anything. It is unity with and for everything – over and against nothing, not even death. This is the kind of unity that God enjoys and makes available to us. Impossible, but this is the promise of Jesus. This is Shalom.

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Unity Without Enemies?

My favorite scientific experiment is the one conducted by Mark Twain. He placed a cat and a dog in a cage, and to his amazement they became friends. Encouraged, he…

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Sent How?

Is Matthew 28:19-20 the “Great Commission? Is it the text that should guide how we understand God’s mission? Could it be that the near canonization of the term has actually caused damage to our understanding of the Christian mission?

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