Readings 1 John 2:29-3:6; John 1:29-34
Christianity can be quite fractious when it comes to articulating our relationship with God.
While Pharisees, Sadducees–even some Essenes–and people who were none of the above, disagreed about the priesthood, doctrine and the books that constituted the scriptures, they managed to worship in the same Temple and observed the same core of customs and holy days.
By contrast, Christians quickly divided into mutually exclusive groups, differing in their understanding of Jesus and how they worshipped. Excommunication–not being in communion–became a given and John’s Gospel and the Johannine letters attest to these divisions. And yet, Chapter Seventeen of John’s Gospel may be the greatest criticism of the scandal of Christian divisions and the greatest plea for the unity of Christ’s followers in all of sacred scripture.
Today’s epistle reminds us that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by God. Certainly, we have a grave responsibility to articulate responsibly, accurately about God and Jesus Christ; but what we articulate remains hollow if what we live fails to concretely flesh out that articulation. What we live is the true root of unity in the Spirit.