The Lord’s Prayer for Us
I’ve heard this passage from John 17 referred to as our Lord’s (real) Prayer. The prayer traditionally called the Lord’s Prayer is more accurately our Lord’s (example of) Prayer for us. The point is the prayer from John is one of our best examples of Jesus praying for us, praying specific intentions for us.
Although the passage from John ends before the end of Jesus’ prayer, I can hear the opportunity for a supportive “Amen!” after the words “May they be one, as we are one.” Even with the divisive forces in our world, from local to global, we can have hope that those forces do not have the last word.
Even divisions in the Christian world community can be responsible for pulling people apart, pulling families apart, pulling nations apart. But those forces don’t have the last word. Our God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—has the last word. And it is powerfully spoken here: “May they be one, as we are one.”
Jesus (God’s Son, as one of three) prays that we can be similarly united—that we may be one, as they, the Trinity, are one. As God’s own self is united in its diversity, Jesus’ last word for us here is also unity in our diversity as the body of Christ, from our local church communities to our global Christian relationships.
I am blessed to see this locally as pastor of both Moravian and Lutheran congregations. So I am living in the blessing of Jesus’ intention for us to be one. This intention for us is in the form of his own Lord’s Prayer for us. And so it is appropriate to close as we usually close prayers, affirming these words from Jesus: “May they be one, as we are one.” Amen!
Jeff Bonn, pastor, Unionville Moravian Church and
St. Peter Lutheran Church (ELCA), Unionville, Michigan