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Daily Devotional for March 23


March 23                                                        John 17:1-11

       One With God Through Jesus

Some have questioned the validity of Christianity, saying,
"How can Christianity be the true way when even the
followers of Christ cannot agree on what the true way is? Is
not the divided body of Christ a proof that Christianity is not
the only true way?" A valid question.

"Holy God, my Mother and Father, keep them in your name
...that they may be one, even as we are one." This was Jesus'
prayer in the garden. His last thoughts, the true "Lord's
prayer," were of his disciples and of those who would come
after them. And he prayed for unity among them.

While the skeptic may look at the various denominations
within Christianity and see factionalism, there is another way
to look at Christianity. The vast majority of Christians exhibit
"unity within diversity": unity under the dominion of Jesus
Christ, diversity in mission and emphasis.

The Bible describes the church as "the body of Christ," and
even as a body has various parts, so, too, does the body of
Christ. Thus it can be that Catholics, Lutherans, and
Episcopalians, for example, offer a beautiful Eucharistic
ministry, while Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists
and ethnic churches emphasize Biblical justice and
righteousness. Baptists and Evangelists bring new believers into
the body, while Pentecostals and Charismatics function as
healers and prophets. What a diverse and beautiful body, with
one head, Jesus Christ!

    Lord, help me to see your church not as a collection of
   splintered and quarreling factions, but as the beautifully
                    faceted diamond that it is. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.

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