The focus for the past week has been on the events leading up to the death burial and resurrection of Our Lord.
And it should be.
However little attention is drawn to a significant event that took place a short time before Jesus was arrested in the garden.
His prayers for us.
Always the Good Shepherd with His sheep in mind our Lord knew the challenges and difficulties we would face
His prayer was for all who were present and all who would come after throughout the ages. And the focus of that prayer was for community.
The following is from
Why Community is Crucial
Jesus’s Prayer For Us
By Danny Franks
For Jesus it was about community.
And on the night of His deep betrayal and abandonment by His closest friends, He prayed that His disciples and all those in the future would be surrounded by community, that we would know deep friendship with others.
Community and friendship that would strengthen and encourage us through difficult times.
But that friendship-that community would only come by understanding particular things Jesus prayed for us.
As we move forward from Easter let us remember His prayer and let it define our community.
1. Jesus prayed for unity.
Our communities are divided over politics, morality, and cultural preferences. And the church is often as divided as the world around us.
Jesus modeled oneness in His relationship with His Father and asked the Father to let unity be the defining mark of the church.
I love the line from Madagascar (with children and grandchildren you watch their movies) “one for all, and all for all”
Unity is not uniformity, and even though we think differently, engage our culture differently, even in our diversity we can still be “kept” under the name of our Father and demonstrate truth and love to the world around us.
2. Jesus prayed for our joy
One of the greatest benefits of comnunity is the encouragement it brings. When the pressures of life come and I forget my identity, lose my way, the Christ followers around me
*Point me back to Jesus
*Remind me who Jesus is, who He has declared me to be
*Remind me my joy is found in my relationship with my creator
*Remind me my greatest hope can only be satisfied by Him.
3. Jesus prayed we would grow in truth.
There is no shortage of ways to walk away from the truth. Our Christian community has the unique ability to confront and correct us when we stray from the truth.
We challenge each other to stay committed to Jesus
As loving brothers and sisters we lovingly and persuasively keep each other on the narrow path.
4. Jesus prayed for our mission
We were never intended to huddle solely with other Christians. We were never meant to shut ourselves off from the outside world.
We live as a community within a community.
We gather together to pray with and for one another, and then go outside the church to love, serve, and invite others into a relationship with Christ Jesus.
This is our most vital mission.
Unity, joy, growth and urgency for the mission happen best in a community deeply rooted in relationship with Jesus.
Community matters, Jesus prayed for it for you and for me.