Bible Reading: John 17:1-11
Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Deuteronomy 6:4, NIV
WHAT WOULD YOU think if you discovered that Dave Thomas, the founder and spokesman for the successful Wendy’s hamburger chain, actually detested hamburgers? The news would be shocking, wouldn’t it?
What if someone told you that Madonna, the outrageous singer and actress, hated to shock people? You would find that a little tough to swallow, a little hard to believe, wouldn’t you?
What if you learned that Michael Jordan, the legendary forward for the Chicago Bulls, never really liked sports at all? That would be astonishing, wouldn’t it?
Why would those things be surprising, even shocking? What makes you think Dave Thomas likes burgers? What makes you think Madonna likes to shock people? What makes you think Michael Jordan likes sports?
Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? You figure Dave Thomas likes hamburgers not only because he says he does on all those television commercials but also because he owns a chain of hamburger restaurants. Hamburgers seem to be part, not only of what he does, but of who he is. It’s the same with Madonna and publicity. It’s the same with Michael Jordan and basketball.
It’s the same with God and unity.
God likes unity. He likes it when people live together in harmony. He likes it when people overcome their differences and become united in attitude and purpose. He likes it when people break down racial and cultural barriers, resolve disagreements, pitch in together, and share each other’s sorrow and happiness.
Why is God so crazy about unity? Because he is owe. Moses told the nation of Israel, “Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4, NIV). God is one; he is a unity. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, yet he is-in his very nature and character-united.
That’s why God values unity. That’s why he wants us to value unity and to achieve unity: because when we do, we resemble our God.
REFLECT: Since the time of Moses, Jews have rented Moses’ words, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one,” twice daily as part of their morning and evening prayers. What did Moses mean when he told Israel, “The Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4, NIV)?
ACT: Try reciting Deuteronomy 6:4 as you brush your teeth these next few mornings and evenings. (it’s easy to remember!)
PRAY: “God, I’m glad I don’t need to figure out which god will hear my prayers. You’re the one Creator of the universe, the one heavenly Father, the one who loves the world—and that includes me. Thank you, God!”