Saturday, February 20

Lenten Meditations 2012

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Saturday, February 20

Psalm 30,32; Ezek. 39:21-29; Phil. 4:10-20; John 17:20-26

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:22)

Our inception occurs with unity, the uniting of our earthly parents; our life begins united to our mother. But our birth into the world involves separation, necessary for us to grow and become aware. We learn self-reliance. Life teaches us about our gifts and how to use them. But it also gives us the illusion that our worth is of our own doing.

When we are dependent only on ourselves, we are alone. Eventually we feel something is missing, that we are incomplete. We seek to fill this emptiness. Some of us look for someone to love. Some of us look for something to love, but we become more certain as time passes that we do not wish for just the fruits of our own labor.

The more we rely on ourselves, the longer we remain unfulfilled. There may be periods of happiness in our aloneness, but there is no joy. If we do experience joy, we sense an undeniable feeling that joy is true and right. We may not know where to find it, but it is clear that joy is worth searching for.

Paul shares with us where he finds joy and contentment in any circumstance - through union with the living Christ (Phil. 4:12-13). Ezekiel tells us what it is like to be separated from our God and relates the consequences of such folly. Worldly experience shows us our solitary limitations; faith in Jesus shows us that through Him anything pleasing to God is possible. When we unite with Christ in faith and love, we are made complete.

The longest recorded prayer of Jesus strongly emphasizes unity (John 17:20-26). Jesus prays for the unity of all believers, that we may continually be one with our brothers and sisters, and that we focus on them and not ourselves. He prays for the unity of all believers with himself and the Father, so that those outside of this union will take notice and believe in God's love for His people and Christ.

Finally, Jesus prays for His followers to be united with Him in glory, which is a Christian's greatest hope and blessing. Thanks be to God!

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