In Christ, One with the Father!

English: Baptism of Christ

English: Baptism of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Christ, One With the Father

John 17:20-26

 †  Jesus, Son and Savior

As we are drawn into the life of Christ, as we come to realize the depth of His love and mercy and the peace which goes beyond all comprehension, may we find that we the world knows of God’s love, because they see the evidence of it, in us.


Listening in on a Overwhelming Conversation

        Two things we learn

You are walking down the hallway, and overhead your name mentioned, before you respond, you realize you aren’t being called – but rather you are the topic of conversation.

Or you are asked to go look at something on someone’s computer, and rather than what you expected, you realize that they left up an email, where you are the topic of conversation.

Do you keep listening?  Do you silently tiptoe up to the doorway, pressing your back against it so you can hear even better?   Do you walk away?  Do you cough or somehow make it known you are there?  How do deal with the embarrassment if you are caught listening, or reading?  Which is harder – if the conversation was really critical, or if the conversation was one discussing something very special, even unbelievable that would be done for you?

I feel a little like that – as we read the gospel of John today.  This incredible conversation between Jesus and the Father.  This intimate look at their relationship – their interdependence, their inter-existence, that goes beyond explanation.  We are talking about the mystery of the Trinity.
Even as that is a mystery beyond comprehension, this prayer of Jesus takes it one step farther, one step even more… challenging to believe….

The conversation is about… us.  About bringing us into Their sacred relationship, about bringing us into their life, about sharing with us, their glory!
Jesus is praying and that we would belong in that relationship as amazing as that seems, Together with people from every time in history and every tongue and every people, we are in Christ –and are one… ever as Jesus and the Father are one.

Even when we struggle to realize it, it is known by the world, through our words, our thoughts, and deeds,

We are to be One, in Christ, in the Father


As I struggled to write this sermon, I was more and more aware of the necessity that we get what Jesus is praying for – even if we can’t comprehend how it happens, or what it all means. As Vicar Mark and Deacon Mike talked about it on Monday night – we were stymied.

How do you explain verse 21?  What can illustrate it?  That Jesus prayed that we may be one – that seems easy, until you understand how “one”.

Hear it again..21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us,

This isn’t unity in the sense that fans of the patriots are sure that we will trounce the Jets.  Or unity is mission – which is critical for a church to be who God calls us to be, for us all to be pushing on the same side of the box.

It is far deeper than just unity in purpose – it’s more intimate, more awe-inspiring this unity in substance that is so indescribable – yet so holy, so precious, so overwhelming! It would be overwhelming if it was “just” the Father being in Jesus, Yet this relationship is reflexive – as the Father is in Jesus, as Jesus Is in the Father.  They are – indistinguishable in character, in purpose, in existence, in being.

They are One…  (remember to pause)

In Jesus – we are joined “in” Them.  Not just to them, but in Them.  What a glorious, incredible, beyond our ability to imagine, concept.   Jesus says that “they also may be in us.”   Slight clarification there, because of the English – it sounds like that hasn’t happened yet, but the verb tense there means a continuing state that starts in the past and is still active now.. and for the unforeseeable future.

In this case we are in the Father and the Son…for eternity.  (pause)

As Paul says in the Acts of the Apostles, “In Him we have life, and we move and we exist. 
Or as Jesus says in Colossians,

12  For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. Colossians 2:12 (NLT)

You are in Jesus – united with Him in baptism – and therefore as He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him… you are there!

That this is seen by the world, that they may believe

While I might not like accidentally overhearing or reading the critical conversation about me; I think it is far more embarrassing and awkward when people are praising you, or when they are planning to shock you with something, and you happen in on the conversation.

I don’t think I am alone in this, because I think most of us understand we aren’t perfect, and when people praise us, we also realize there are things that they could criticize or even crucify us for, if they only knew.

Most of us don’t realize when we are living in Christ, because it is just that – it is living – it clicks, it works and we find ourselves content.  We find great dissonance though and discontent when we are not in that peace, when we are struggling in our unity with Christ and with each other.

While we may not see it – the world does.  I am more and more convinced that the church, when it remembers its place is in Christ, in the Father, the more natural it grows – as the world knows why Jesus came – and comes to trust in it as much as we do.

That’s what being drawn into Christ does – that is what being baptized into Christ has done, it was what finding yourself strengthened as you eat the Body of Jesus and drink His Blood does.  The Holy Spirit, through word and sacrament transforms us, it causes us to remember Him, that He dwells here – it unites us all, together in Him, in the Father.

The world will notice this, it notices the love, the caring, the peace.

They won’t notice our call for them to follow our moral code, or even our views on science, or on history, or on the nature of man.  They may not notice our excellent music, or our preaching, or the beauty of the stained glass and what each symbol means.

They will notice the unity in substance, our unity in love, the will notice the Christ in which we live.. and the peace that passes all comprehension.

For Paul says it clearly –

27  God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. Colossians 1:27 (TEV)

They will notice as we see revealed the glory of the Father shared with the Son, into which we’ve been drawn as we share in The Trinity’s love, and for they will seethe change it makes in us, and give him glory.


About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on May 12, 2013, in Devotions, Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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