Jesus prayed, ‘May they be one as we are one.’ Paul indicated that this ‘oneness’ was all encompassing when he wrote, ‘And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross’ Col 1.20 NIV, and again, ‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT.
The right time is the present in the transforming power of the incarnation and then at the culmination of all things when Jesus brings the ongoing new creation to its conclusion.
This ‘oneness’ is not something we can achieve. It is however what we may agree to when we celebrate the Lord’s Table. The meaning here is not some lament about the cross. The meaning is that as food becomes us when we eat it so Jesus becomes us when we eat Him. We eat Jesus by agreeing that He is our life and embracing the fact that we have been drawn into His life, into fellowship with God. We eat Jesus by living each day in this union and denying and repenting of all insinuations that we live in separation from God.
Oneness is ours in the communion of the trinity. ‘One as we are one’ refers to trinitarian communion. This is the communion we are drawn into as a result of being received into Christ’s life.
JOINED TO GOD
The following scripture applies to our life in union with God just as much as it does to the nature of a good marriage. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate’ Mark 10.7-9 NIV.
Jesus invites us to be one with Him in all that is His – His union with life and truth and His union with His Father and Holy Spirit. God has given Himself totally to us in Jesus. We receive this life of God by agreeing with God that Christ is entirely our life. We can enter and rejoice in this reality - or like the rich young ruler whom Jesus desired, we can stick with our religion, the identity we have carved out for ourselves and the separated and compartmentalised life that is ours in our religion.
This is Religion may be what we think permits us to live our life during the week and give God a slice of our life at the weekend. We can do this and gain eternal life but our tragedy is that in this life we do not become our true self. We miss out on becoming sons in spirit and in truth and we emit drops of life rather than rivers of spirit and life.
FALES SELF WEALTH
‘When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven’ Matt 19.22,23 NIV. But such wealth is not always dollars and cents. To some it is an identity they think they have in their inherited beliefs and their religious community. Jesus was inviting him to step out of Moses and into Himself and the Kingdom of Heaven. No matter how sincere old covenant culture may be it is not the Kingdom of God.
‘What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?’
Mark 8.36 NIV. What good does it do us and those to whom we relate if we retain what we think we have yet never gain our real self?