Verse: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
Reflection: God's identity is One: Mathematical identity = one…includes unity…seamless…One and only - his Oneness is unique - doesn't depend on anything - relationships, ideas, a maker, (a cup is made by a maker, a painting by an artist, a book by author), etc. includes name - God likes to share his names with us
Question: What does "one" mean to you?
Verse: All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:10-11, 20-23)
Reflection: The Father reveals oneness (flesh and blood didn't reveal this - Matthew 16). The Father makes us one. This prayer is what is one Jesus' heart - oneness, wholeness, unity. The Spirit gives us oneness - check out Ephesians 4...we all see in part, and become more unique as we become more like Jesus, because we are also becoming ourselves.
Question: What is unity? How is this different from “sameness?”
Verse: When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:12-17, 34-35)
Reflection: He gives us, as disciples, his own work and identity, and his name - we must love one another
Isaiah 40:1-5; "The Voice of One calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord.' Every mountain shall be lifted up, every valley and hill be made low, the rough places a plain...and all mankind will see it together."
The Spirit gives us unity, not sameness...
Isaiah was given this word as a prophetic witness. 700+ years later, John the Baptizer is given this same word, and takes it as his purpose and identity, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert."
John actually is asked, "Who are you? We need to take something, an answer, to take back to the men who sent us." John responds, "The One who sent me, and told me to baptize, said the one his Spirit would rest on..." God gives us this prophetic burden, too, as artists. We are the voice of one calling in the desert - Prepare the Way for the Lord!
Question: As artists, how can we live into the identity of being ‘A voice of one calling…’? Where does our authority come from - God or men? Do we all have the same ‘voice calling?’