Read: John 17:20-26.

This concludes Jesus’ farewell address to his disciples. It immediately precedes his return to a familiar garden where he will be met by Judas and the officials who will take him away to die. In the Gospel of John, those who are opposed to God are described as “the world.” At the same time Jesus prays for his followers, he prays for the world so that the world may believe that Jesus’ Father has sent him. Even as his own suffering and death was about to happen, he prayed for his followers and for those who would oppose him and his followers. God’s work in Christ is the work of reconciliation that gives us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Jesus prays for unity and reconciliation even while the forces of sin and destruction are closing in on him. Understanding and resolving differences will require the love of the Father and of Jesus to be in us as disciples. Jesus prays for us to have a loving and empowering relationship to God. How would you, as a follower of Jesus, describe your relationship with God? With others?

Pray: Loving God, come to me that I may love the world as you have loved me, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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