Lovewell: A Theology - Day 10

DAY 10
John 17:23
23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

This is the idea of intimacy. It is really more than intimacy, it is so close to being almost as one. In theological circles we would say that it is a perichoretic relationship. If you have been around Crosswalk for a while, you know I love that word and that concept. It is the idea of the Trinity, the idea that there are three in one, so close to be the same in unity, purpose and mission.

If we are to build authentic relationships with others and with God then we are going to have to get comfortable with being pretty close to those with whom we share a deeper proximity. Jesus used this perichoretic language, this language of relationships, in order to show us how close he is with his Father and with the Spirit. Then, he  tells God that he is actually in the same type of relationship with us that he is with the Father. This is amazing! It means that we have the same sort of relationship with Jesus that he has with the father. This all means that we have been brought into the community of God in a powerful and almost unreasonable way.

Have you ever been brought into someone else’s family? Growing up, we are often such good friends with people that we sort of get adopted into their families. After a while, we are even fine with being at their house even if our friend is not there. Many times I have waited with my buddies parents for him to finish a lesson or a tutoring session. Sometimes, we just become such good friends that we become brothers, sisters, or at least like very familiar cousins.

In some ways, this is what we are called to when we become part of the body of Christ and when we declare that we are going to learn and grow together in authentic relationships with God and with others. It means that we have a willingness to connect, move closer, and allow our orbits to be as close as we can be.
The scripture says “may they experience perfect unity. . .” That sounds pretty good if you ask me. Jesus is really the only one that can bring about such perfect unity. I am writing this on a day where the country is deeply divided; the day after midterm elections. While this has not been as contentious a campaign season, it hasn’t been great. How do we find ways to be in unity when the world is so continually divided?

Perhaps we need to learn to focus on Jesus in a way that we haven’t before. Rather than thinking about “what would Jesus do” in this situation, what if we asked what is “Jesus already doing” in the situation that we are in now. Perhaps then it would be less an exercise in conjecture, and more an exercise in seeing where God is already working.

  1. How can you see where God is currently working in your life and in the world? 
  2. What are you doing to break down the barriers between you and others so that you might be in greater proximity to them? 
  3. What would living in Perfect Unity look like for you and those around you? 
  4. What can you do, in this divided world, to bring a little healing? 
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Steve M - January 14th, 2023 at 11:44am

I’ve been reading the Bible through. That’s what I’m doing to get closer to other people. I am seeing very clearly the condition of man which is very sinful and a God that is very much wanting to be close, but they keep wondering away and loving other things and gods and I see is his heartbreaking and the frustration of God’s heart when he see them burning their children on alters to demonic devils killing each other and taking the little the poor have and leaving them naked and starving and being extremely violent to where people are dead in the streets. One text said that they were worse than Sodom and Gomorrah, where they were raping perfect strangers to point of death. Wow! What mess of humanity. Humans are dangerous. What did God do in response? He sent them prophets. They killed them laughed and mocked them. And since they didn’t listen, he sent the neighboring nation against them, and took them captive into Babylon. Were they stayed for 70 year. He took everything away from them, but he also gave them hope that he would take them back to their home and rebuild them. So what am I doing to help others to get closer to them? I am listening to the experiences of those who have gone before me so I can be a better person and example to those about me. I need to be converted person and not of this world. I need to have my heart in heavenly places to be a converted Christian so I can the salt of the world in this world. I need to go into all the world and preach the gospel. I need to understand the gospel and accept it so I can give it. I need the heart of God so I can love the unlovely and be able to bear under the stress of their unbelief in anger and resentment. I need to be brave enough to go out into the community, and to share the gospel to the rich and the poor addicts and prostitutes. I need to be filled with the spirit of God and know what it means to be one with with the trinity and have his authority yo heal the sick cast out demons. I believe God is still working in this world. He is sending his Covid. We’re allowing it and he’s allowing the droughts and the floods to bring us to our knees so we will seek help in him. I feel like the world is responding now I feel almost like the latter rain is falling on his people. He’s getting our attention. I’m excited I feel it in my bones. The power of God moving on earth. The Lord led me to four people yesterday in the community to bring them hope and encouragement. One drug addict two Jehovah’s Witnesses a close friend. It was an a major blessing, and I was probably more of a blessing to me than I was to those who received. God bless everyone he loves everyone of you. He coming soon.