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Thursday, December 2, 2010

21 Days of Love: John 17

According to Jesus' prayer in John 17, and his opinion matters most, the most effective way to make him known is not tracts, or camp meetings, or Christian concerts, or yelling at people on the street corners of a major city. There is nothing inherently wrong with these evangelistic methods, the exception might be yelling at people...I haven't heard that has incarnated Christ lately. In 17:11, 20-23 Jesus' prays for the unity of his followers, that we would be "one" just as he and the Father are "one." Wow, this method of making Christ known is less expensive than producing a concert or camp meeting; it's also less awkward than handing out tracts and yelling at strangers. Loving and being united with sisters and brothers in Christ- piece of cake!

Not so fast...any of us who have been in the church for years recognizes how challenging love and unity in the church can be. Sometimes it is no where to be found. Yet, our loving unity within the church is, according to Jesus, one of the premier ways to make him known to the world. The most effective evangelistic "method" in the first century church was Jews and Gentiles coming to Christ and loving each other for the first time in the history of the world. That's the difference Christ makes- he makes the two one! And the world sits up and takes notice.

Lord, today I will love you by being united in love with your people. Help me to love especially those people in the church I don't like. I will love them because I love you and want to make you known to the watching world.

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