Unity in divisive times

In John 17, Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane praying before his coming trial and crucifixion. In 17:20-25, Jesus prays the following: 

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you 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.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.” NIV

I typically stay away from making political posts on social media and articles or lessons, and I only write this because of something that disturbed me during this election cycle.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime the division, fracturing, disunity, conflict, (insert whatever word you choose there) that I have seen among those who wear the name of Christ. Those who call themselves disciples of Jesus. Over the past months I have seen people who were good friends, family members, members of various churches, say things to each other that were anything but Christlike.

I’ll ask you this question. How is that honoring what Jesus prayed for in John 17?

We can disagree folks. We can have different opinions. We can even like different candidates. But, when those things begin to divide the body of Christ, something’s wrong.

Maybe the worst thing is that people who are not Christians saw all of this and now many of them have even less desire to be a Christian than they may have before! How do we justify that? We can’t! It doesn’t matter what your political beliefs or, who you voted for. If your behavior before, during and after this election caused or causes someone to question the importance of Jesus we need to take a hard look at our priorities.

I say this to myself as much as anyone else. We will disagree on things. We’re human beings. But, we’re Christians first. Let’s act like it.

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