March 23

Monday, March 23, 2020

John 17:1-19

As Jesus prays for his disciples, there is one central unifying theme: God is one with Christ, and because of Christ we are made to be one with each other. The holiness we seek is found only through wholeness.

The problem we seem to be having in our world is not just one of unity, which we often interpret as persuading people to “think like me.” Neither is it relativized truth where whatever people think, say or do can be said to be “just their own truth.” We have absolute truths that I believe are universal: the sanctity of human life … the discovery of Christ in the face of the poor … the harm that comes from our tendency to marginalize and demonize the other. So how do we create unity out of these disparate positions?

I find unity through developing theories of integration. One I first learned about only recently is the evolutionary theory of human development known as spiral dynamics. (Much can be found about this online, so I won’t detail it here.) The greatest part of this theory is that every person goes through various developmental stages, and each stage of growth is greater than the other. The same is true of human community.

The problem is that, as humans have grown to newer levels (say moving from a tribal to a national to a global worldview), we have tended to minimize and reject those who are elsewhere on the journey. This is how I see our current struggles in our national and denominational landscape.

What Jesus is calling us to is integration … a way of respecting others who are at a different place while perpetually inviting them to see the expansiveness of this God in whom we all are one. Christ is the gift of God capable of integrating us into the tapestry of heaven. When we experience this gift, then Christ’s joy is made complete in us!

In you, O Christ, do we find true unity. May we find wholeness and holiness in you. Amen.

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