Summary: This Sermon is about the importance of unity in the church.

Text: John 17:20-26, Acts 1:14

Title: We Are One

By Rev. A. LaMar Torrence,

Cross of Life Lutheran Church

I yet believe that we are living in some amazing times when our horizons are both expanding and contracting. Never before has it been so easy to be in direct contact with people from all over the world. We are slowly becoming one global village. Uplinks, email, teleconferences, Internet, bulletin boards and all these electronic pit stops on the information highway offer us the chance to interact and interconnect in a nanosecond. Technology is pulling the diverse corners of the world into one community. We are becoming one. And it’s my belief that the church should be the leader in uniting this diverse community into one godly kingdom. The church is to be a place emulating unity where there is truly no Jew, no Gentile, no slave, nor master, no male or female. We are called to become one. We are called to be one church -without a spot or wrinkle prepared to scale heights of heaven upon our Lord’s return; We are called to be one faith- regardless of doctrine, denomination, creed, and confession; We are called to be one family- brothers and sisters, familiars and family united under the blood of Christ. We are to be one.

And yet, in spite of humanity’s technological evolution towards globalization, we are still living in a culture of selfishness and individualism. We are living among a people who frequently say, “I don’t need anybody. I can make it out here on my own. I can do it my way and exist by myself.” That’s why we are witnessing an ever-growing rate of self-help programs, self-empowerment books, and self-motivational speakers. We are busy trying to become self-made people-doing things on our own. Movers and shakers are trying to become self-made millionaires whether it’s by making deals on Wall Street or dealing out dope on street corners. Some of our children are willing to live in ally-ways rather than abiding by their parents’ household rules. They feel that they are grown enough to make it on their own. We see mothers choosing to raise children without fathers. We have Black women willing to live without Black men because of the ‘ I don’t need a men’ attitude. We see men too proud to commit to a monogamous relationship because they want to selfishly play the field. Each of us is taking care of our own business. We feel that we don’t need anyone. Even when some of us get trapped in our sick bed, we want to be left alone in our afflictions. Our pride causes us to close our doors to visitors and others that want to help. We don’t want anyone in our business or feeling sorry for us. We feel that we can get through our troubles by our selves.

But Jesus reminds us that we cannot function alone. He reminds us in this prayer that we are to be one. We are all apart of the one body and if one member suffers, all suffer together. If one member is honored, all the members are to rejoice together. When God said, “that it is not good that the man should be alone”, I believe he was saying that we need others to share our success and share our pain. We need others to partake in our joys and help us with our burdens. We need each other. Like Jesus, we too need fellow Simons standing in the wings ready to help us carry our cross. When pharaoh has burden us down with oppressive duties at work, we need love ones in our homes ready to refresh our spirits. When friends deny us, family forsakes us, and our loneliness seems overwhelming, we need the company of God’s beloved church to encourage us. Even on our sick beds, when we are unable to make it out to fellowship, although letters, cards, and flowers, are precious – we still need the physical manifestation of God’s love present by our bedside. We need someone to hold our hand, dry our tears, and calm our fears. We need each other. Tell somebody-we need each other.

Jesus prays, “That we would be one as he and the father are one…I in them as you are in me that they may be perfectly one.” In other word, Jesus is saying, “Lord, let them have a sense of unity. Give them a spirit of oneness. Let them realize that they are all created equal in your sight. Let it no longer be about them and us, but let it be about “ours and we”. Let them be one as you and I are one. When the world sees me, they see the father. When the world seeks the father, it seeks after me. So, let them, Holy father be unified that they aren’t seen- but let the Christ that is in their midst be seen. Let them be one. Let those who are colored in the many hues of the rainbow collectively mirror your true colors. Let the dark shades of Africa mixed with the soft pastels of Europe and the florescent spices of South America. Let them form the mosaic stained glass windows adorning your spiritual temple here on earth. Let them be one. Tell someone, ‘let us become one.”

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