Never again hide my face

The last few days we have been reading from the “High Priestly Prayer” of John’s gospel — the extended discourse of Jesus in the Upper Room on the occasion of the Last Supper.

As Jesus prays for his disciples, he paints a picture of his desire for our unity in relationship to God and to each other. “As you, Father, 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. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one as we are one” (John 17:21-22).

Our visible unity is mean to convey the glory of God. If the promise of God given in Ezekiel this morning — “I will never again hide my face” — is to be fulfilled, it will be in part because God’s glory is visible in us.

Unity does not mean sameness, of course, but it does mean encouraging one another instead of shaming and disparaging. It means giving generously toward the needs of the saints, as Paul’s church at Philippi did. It means rejoicing in the splendid variety of God’s created order and “putting away all earthly anxieties,” as we do especially on Saturdays in the Office.

Look around you today. In whom do you see God’s face? On whom has God poured out God’s spirit? With whom are you called to join so that God’s face will shine?

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