We Are One, September 3, 2019

by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based)

“And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.  Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one…As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17.11, 18).

It is easy to become discouraged and lonely today.  It is a temptation to believe that we are all alone to follow the way of Christ in justice, love, and mercy.  We may think no one else understands all the awful things that are going on around us and how little we can do.  This is such a temptation, that I consider it a spiritual discipline to rediscover the power of community.  Jesus must have understood this human tendency toward isolation, as he prayed to the Father “that [we] might be one.”

Last Thursday, WDC hosted a gathering for congregational representatives to share with each other what we and our congregations are doing for the sake of immigrant justice. We were encouraged as we noticed with a new certainty that we are all doing much more than we realized.  Some of us agreed that God is calling us to work together to visit immigrants in local detention centers, to write notes to our legislators to tell immigrants’ stories, to collect MCC Immigrant Detainee Kits and money to transport them to South Texas.  We would do the work of Christ as one.  We left with more hope than we came with.  We left with more ideas than we had before.  We left knowing that we are not alone in “doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God” (Micah 6.8).

Here are the lyrics to a well-loved camp song from some years ago that clearly reflect a desire for unity in the faith community:

We are one in the Spirit.

We are one in the Lord.

We are one in the Spirit.

We are one in the Lord,

and we pray that our unity

will one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians

by our love, by our love.

Yes, they’ll know

we are Christians by our love.

 

We will work with each other.

We will work side-by-side.

We will work with each other.

We will work side-by-side,

and we’ll guard each one’s dignity

and save each one’s pride.

And they’ll know we are Christians

by our love, by our love.

Yes, they’ll know

we are Christians by our love.

 

All praise to the Father 

from whom all things come.

And all praise to Christ Jesus,

His only Son,

and all praise to the Spirit 

who makes us one.

And they’ll know we are Christians

by our love, by our love.

Yes, they’ll know

we are Christians by our love.

We have been sent into the world and we are not alone, for we are one in Christ!

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