Lord, thank you for this new day in which we get to celebrate again the unity that we have with you and the Father through your life changing Word and sacrifice. Amen. John 17:20-23 (NRSV)
20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, 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. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Jesus is praying for two things in this passage. First, he is praying that the people we care about will believe in Him as a result of the message of salvation we share. Second, he is praying that the people we care about will see that the unity Jesus shares with the Father is the same unity available to them and in which we ourselves share.
This is why I love Alpha so much. It is an opportunity to see how the Father answers these prayers of Jesus. As people on the course come to know about Jesus through the words spoken during Alpha, they are spiritually transformed and brought into the same unity that Jesus shares with the Father. That relationship in turn brings the believer into unity with Christians worldwide regardless of their denomination affiliation.
There is great power in being part of a unified Christian church. Not only is our message more powerful because we speak with one voice, but also because, by the power of the Holy Spirit, our unity is demonstrated in our love for Jesus and for one another. This unity gives a powerful witness that Jesus is the Savior of the world who has come to give His life so that our sin debt is cancelled. Being part of the body of Christ also gives us full access to our Father in heaven who loves us more than we can ever imagine, not only on this day of Saint Valentine, but every day we live on this earth and forever.
Lord, thank you for the unity we share with Christians everywhere. Thank you for the unity that we share with you and the Father through your sacrifice for us. Amen.