Community: Unity in Christ
St. John’s MTC, NY
23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
This past Sunday at St. John’s Mar Thoma Church, we had 26 members of our congregation participate in the Holy Communion for the first time. As I was driving to church, I thought of my first Holy Communion and I recall repeating the words “I renounce Satan; I believe in Jesus Christ”. These words are a proclamation that our parents had said when we were baptized as a child. And now, just as we had, these individuals made the decision for themselves that they would follow Jesus Christ. One of my favourite parts of the service is when the congregation repeats a prayer accepting the new communicants as their own. It highlights the community and love we have as brethren in Christ. Jesus says in vs. 23 of this passage, “I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and loved them even as you have loved me.”
It’s a bit of a tongue twister, but this verse highlights the bridge between mankind and God. When God Himself came down to earth, He allowed a direct connection to Him. This connection is through accepting Jesus into our lives. If Jesus never came down and died on the cross for our sins, there would be no bridge. We would still be sinners and the pathway to eternal life would not exist. It’s a daunting fact. However, “God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) We are fortunate enough that God continues to show mercy for us sinners even when we don’t deserve it. Going back to the main verse, “I in them, you in me”, Jesus is in all of us and God is in Jesus. I don’t know if you remember geometry, but the transitive property would state that God is therefore in each and everyone of us.
Today, we should ask ourselves, “Am I with Christ?” If the answer is ‘Yes’, then that’s awesome. If the answer is ‘No’, then we should know that we have an entire community who made a promise to be there for us. We all go through struggles that take us away from God, but we are a community of believers who will support one another. And this doesn’t stop with just our respective churches. This love we show one another should be bestowed to all those we meet so that they may experience Christ’s love as well.
Now we are the body of Christ, and each one of us is a part of it (1 Cor.12:27). Let us do our part in supporting one another as a church, and as a community.
O Lord, help us to do our part in supporting one another that we may be strengthened in faith. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
" Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. " 1 John 4:11