Read: John 17:6-11

I am praying for them . . . that they may be one, even as we are one. (vv. 9, 11)

Years ago, I led a group of church members on a trip to Israel. We stayed at the homes of Palestinian Christians who lived on the West Bank in a little village. We stayed there ten days, eating with our host families and getting to know them. When it was time for us to leave, the mayor of the village met with our group, saying: “I have something to ask of you, a request.” I thought, “Oh, here it comes. He’s going to ask for money.” People in poorer countries think that all Americans are wealthy—which, compared to them, we are. But the mayor didn’t ask for money. He asked, “Remember us. Remember that we are one family, you and us.”

I was stunned. Up to that point I thought they were Palestinians. I thought they were Arabs. Only at the end of our visit, and to my great shame, did I realize that they were family. Which is what Jesus always wanted us to be—one family.

Here in the Gospel of John, we eavesdrop on Jesus’ last prayer for his disciples. And what does Jesus pray for? He prays for their unity. He prays “that they may be one.” When we say that all believers everywhere in the world are members of the one family of God, that’s not just church talk. It’s the literal truth. Today, live out that truth. —Lou Lotz

As you pray, ask God to help you recognize the oneness of the family of God.