Tuesday, May 27, 2014

One World

Just before Jesus is arrested he prays for his followers (for us), “protect them…, so that they may be one, as we are one.” (John 17:11) His prayer is that we may enjoy a true sense of unity with God and with one another.

We used to speak of this world as divided into three worlds. The thinking was that the First World was the rich, non-communist countries of the northern hemisphere (and some of the southern). The Second World was principally countries of the former Soviet bloc of countries. The Third World was made up of mostly African and Asian countries. Thankfully, we don’t seem to speak in this way so much. By the way, some countries didn’t make it onto any of the three lists.

Perhaps it was at one time simply a convenient way to speak of the various categories that divided nations. But, at some point, language of division breaks down and become harmful. It eventually serves to relegate rather than merely identify.

It seems that the prayer Jesus prays for us, indeed for the whole world, is for his followers to be on the leading edge of people who challenge anything, even our language, when it creates unnatural and unjust divisions between us. The rock group The Police, on their 1981 album, Ghost In the Machine, released a reggae inspired tune called, “One World Not Three.”

I don't want to bring a sour note
Remember this before you vote
We can all sink or we all float
'Cause we're all in the same big boat
One world is enough for all of us…

Perhaps catchy tunes stick in my head or maybe it’s the prayer that Jesus prayed, but realizing that my neighbour’s neighbour is my neighbor and this connection makes everyone everyone’s neighbour, is at the heart of the Gospel imperative to love and serve the one world God loves and serves.

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