“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 17:20-23
Growing together in love and faithfulness toward God empowers followers of Jesus with a supernatural unity. This unity might lead the rest of the world to find the Church curiously irresistible or completely intolerable, but would hopefully never leave the world any room for mere casual indifference.
Consider the dynamic of a major league clubhouse. If you were to observe some teams around the league, you would find little unity, little desire to come together as a team, and little desire or expectation to win. Who benefits from this type of clubhouse? Who respects a team with no chemistry?
Within some of the more successful clubhouses around the league, players embrace their roles while encouraging others. Everyone seems focused on the higher goal of the team and everyone benefits as a result! These are the teams that fans appreciate and cheer for the most, and even the media seems to show a higher level of respect towards them.
The same can be said about us as followers of Jesus. If we would grow up in a way that brings us together in what we believe and how we behave, how much more respect might the world around us have for the God that we claim to serve?
The early Jesus community was said to be “men who have turned the world upside down.” How are we contributing to the chemistry of the Jesus community? What might happen if this community unites in its beliefs and behavior?
— Terry Evans, Atlanta Braves chaplain