“That they all may be one”

In one of the most tumultuous moments in history, Christ Jesus was taken away by his adversaries to be tried and crucified. Just before that, he prayed to God that his disciples “may be one.” Yet Jesus’ loving concern didn’t stop there. He continued to widen his prayer to include all humanity: “I pray not for them alone, but also for those who will believe on me through their preaching: that they all may be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you; that they may also be one in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20, 21, New Matthew Bible).

During turbulent time​s​ ​before and after elections​,​ and in the midst of other times of mental and physical unrest in our own countries and in the world, ​we can lean on and trust Jesus’ prayer for all humanity—that we ​may be, and ​truly are, one​. This oneness is the will of ​our universal and infinitely good ​God, and the power of understanding God’s goodness was proved by Jesus when the crucifixion was followed by his resurrection.

Understanding that God is good, and the only cause, enables us to better discern what it is that unites us. Each of us is spiritual, one with God, who is Spirit, and we each innately express the goodness of God. This expression of God in our lives takes form in qualities such as love, wisdom, and intelligence. These qualities increase our awareness of God’s all-inclusive presence and enable us to recognize these attributes in others. And sometimes it works the other way around, too: As we see spiritual substance or ​light expressed in another, we recognize the same light in ourselves!

Another word for this light is Christ. The spiritually scientific fact is that we are all one in Christ, and through Christ we all reflect the one infinite ​Spirit in beautifully diverse ways.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The universe of Spirit is peopled with spiritual beings, and its government is divine Science” (pp. 264–265). ​I like to think of this government as the “secret place of the most High” that’s spoken of in Ps​alm​ 91 (verse 1).

This doesn’t mean we all have to agree with one another or vote for the same political party. Not at all. But we can all let the grace and truth of Christ be expressed in us by making an effort to affirm and ​cherish the unity of God’s creation,​ and to be open to learning from one another. Science and Health says, “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds” (p. 4). ​In order to grow in grace, we often have to be patient and trust the goodness and power of God’s government, even when things appear divisive.

I caught a vivid glimpse of God’s grace and government years ago while working for a large ​​company. There was a sudden strike, and because of my position in the company, I was pulled in both directions. 

I did all I could to put aside human will and yield to God, divine Principle, trusting the one divine Mind to lead me in every decision. I acknowledged that this Mind, which is God, was governing everyone. The dispute didn’t end as fast as everyone thought it might, but I felt confident that divine Love, or God, was in control each step of the way. And the ultimate outcome was harmonious. Several major changes were made​ that benefited everyone involved. It was clear that even through the turmoil, God had a blessing in store for all.

We can bring similar insights to bear if we pray for our nations and the world. When we glimpse the truth that there is only one God, one Mind, we’re contributing to something much larger than ourselves—we’re playing a part in “the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2) and the unifying of humanity. We are witnesses to something foreseen in a hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal:

Day by day the understanding 
   Of our oneness shall increase, 
Till among all men and nations 
   Warfare shall forever cease, 
   So God’s children all shall dwell 
      in joy and peace.
(Violet Hay, No. 157, © CSBD)

My prayer during this time is that whenever differing opinions, likes, and dislikes are voiced and heard, even in harsh ways, we can remember th​is​ beautiful truth of our oneness in God, divine Love, and contribute, through prayer, to the healing that is needed in so many areas.

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