John 1.14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Reflection: Unity and Diversity :: Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

Much of John’s gospel is concerned with unity. John holds a unity of purpose—that we may believe in the name of Jesus and have life in him. John describes the unity of the trinity—describing the interplay and relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. John also spends a large percentage of his writing (most of chapters 12-17) detailing the struggle Jesus underwent in the final hours before his arrest to prepare the disciples and bring them to unity.

Unity cannot be won in debates. Unity cannot be claimed by a victor. Unity cannot be seized as a weapon. (Although cries for unity often lead to armed conflict and suppression of dissent.)

Unity cannot be achieved by defeating others but by embracing them. Unity does not come by our cleverness, but by by foolishly clinging solely to Christ and his cross.

As we pray this prayer from Germany that celebrates unity and diversity, may we look forward in our minds to these familiar passages in John. May we be one as Christ and the Father are one…

Unity and Diversity
A prayer of celebration from Germany

Lord, our God and Father, in Jesus Christ we pray. We are impressed by your power, by your greatness, by your excellence.

Your praises are heard in a multitude of languages which we cannot understand. But you hear all of them. We are shaped by different cultures and traditions. We express our thoughts and feelings in different ways. But you know exactly what each of us means.

You rejoice in the diversity which is your creation; you show your affection to each one of us according to our special needs.

Send your Holy Spirit to untangle your perplexity so that we can accept brothers and sisters whose expression of faith is different, because you created all of us in your own image.

Lord, creator of the universe, how amazing you are. We adore you; we exalt you.

*Prayer from Hallowed be Your Name: A collection of prayers from around the world, Dr. Tony Cupit, Editor.

Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
“Because the needy are oppressed, and the poor cry out in misery, I will rise up,” says the Lord, “And give them the help they long for.” — Psalm 12.5

Today’s Readings
Exodus 22 (Listen – 4:23)
John 1 (Listen – 6:18)

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Read more about Love in His Name
What are we waiting for? “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” “Love in his name,” is both what we receive and what we must do.

Read more about Incarnational, Artful Living
Don’t downplay any creative acts he may inspire you to undertake. The humbler they seem the greater impact they may have for the kingdom of God. Create a meal for guests. Create a shelter for birds out of broken fence planks. Create a garden in a barren spot of earth. Create space in your community for the outcast and the rejected.