(John 17:1-26) Jesus begins by asking God the Father to bless the work he had done on earth, and use what was coming to glorify God the Father. As he continues his prayers to the Father he asks for blessing, protection, and unity among the Disciples. He also asked for the same among those that would come to believe in him and become his followers.
Jesus makes it very clear in this passage the need for community, the need for unity, among believers. However the unity does not stop with simply the followers of Christ, but a unity that Christ is also apart of. Jesus was concerned about our relationship with Him and with each other. He was asking for a blessing over it all.
We can see how much Jesus was concerned with community just looking at how he chose 12 Disciples. He could have chosen just one, however he knew that followers of Him need each other to stand strong for Him. Even though it is purely our personal relationship with Christ and our trust in Him that bring us salvation, our community of believers helps us to grow in our personal relationship. We can try to go it alone, but we will find that our sinful nature is hard to stand against all alone. With God and fellow believers all there to support us we will find more success in staying strong in our faith.
At times I still find that I’m struggling to find the community I need. I had such a huge support network where I came from. Things aren’t quite the same anymore. I know how important it is to have a group of fellow believers to walk with. I can’t begin to show thanks for a wife that spurs me on in my spiritual walk. I think that I need to take Christ’s example and begin to pray for the continued development of a community of believers to be apart of. The kind of small, close, spiritually supportive community that challenges me and helps me to grow in my faith. This is not to say that I don’t have any of that, however I’d like to see it continue to develop more, especially into what God intends.