United We Stand
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 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. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Let me tell you a story to reflect upon today. King Solomon was the third King of Israel. He was famed for his wisdom, and many people came to him for justice from far and wide. One day, two women came before King Solomon with a child, each claiming that the child was hers. Each told the same story. She had given birth to a child but during the night the other women rolled over her child and killed it and then substituted the live child for the dead child.
When she woke up and examined the dead child, she realized that it was not hers. So who did the baby belong to? King Solomon ordered that a sword be brought and the baby be sliced in two, with each woman given one half. One of the women nodded her assent, saying she believed that justice was being served. The other woman, however, screamed a protest saying that the other woman could have the baby, but not to kill it. Solomon promptly had the baby given to her.
I heard this story as a child and I don't remember being particularly impressed by it. What person, no matter how miserable he or she was, would have it in their heart to have a little baby cut into half, I wondered. But after I returned to the faith, I realized that not only did a lot of people have it in their heart to do so, they went about it with great enthusiasm.
I refer, of course, to us Christians from all sides of the divide who use the sword, which is the Word of God, to cut the baby, which is the body of Christ, into little, little pieces! It is not hard to see why. There is tremendous pleasure — and power — you get from wielding this particular sword, and the temptation to do so is often overpowering, even when you don't quite know how to use it. Or, perhaps, especially when you don't know how to use it.
But it has to stop and it better stop now because the witness we give unbelievers is terrible. Who would ever want to come to Christ when they see the divisions and open hatred between Christians, allegedly people of love? Jesus prayed that we may be one as he and the Father are one. Yes, we have differences but we have faith in the same creator and the same savior. Let that be enough for a start.
May we be one.