Easter 7 :: One

Sculpture Garden 2009-07-11 033

Red Steel

"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do"

For the Seventies rock band Three Dog Night, one may be the loneliest number when you've just broken up with your girlfriend [or boyfriend], but for the followers of Jesus one is the most divine number around.

Speaking to his disciples on the eve of his glorification, Jesus prayed that, after his departure, they would experience the kind of relationship with one another that he had with Abba God. Far from being one that would ever end—and that would ever result in loneliness—the relationship between Jesus and God is one of mystical interdependence, joy, and love. All that God is, Jesus is. All that God has, Jesus has. All that God will be, Jesus will be. This is not a relationship in the normal "human" sense of the word. It is not a give-and-take that defines much of the way in which people relate to one another. Nor is it a sense in which each participant is an independent being, free to do whatever—as long as the other doesn't mind.

Perhaps there should be invented another word to describe the mystical union which exists in the Godhead between the Creator and Jesus. But, for now at least, "One" will have to suffice. Creator/Abba God and Redeemer/Son Christ exist in a relationship of oneness that transcends ordinary human ways of being. In St. John’s parlance, God’s very Word at creation was Jesus the Christ. God speaks Christ the Word and worlds come into being. God’s actions are Jesus’ actions. Jesus’ actions are God’s.

This is the type of relationship Jesus prays for his disciples and for all who follow where he has led the way. The intimacy implied in this oneness is itself mystical and transformative. It unites each of us to the other in ways that no amount of ecumenical dialogue can ever hope to achieve. Such a relationship is truly affirmative, joyful, and life-giving. And it can change the world.

“One” is the loneliest number? Hardly!


Something to ponder:

When have you experienced this kind of oneness in community?


Link to RCL Lectionary for Easter 7

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