“U” is for Unity (March 13, 2013)

…Opening To…

If we would follow Jesus we must take certain definite steps. The first step, which follows the call, cuts the disciple off from his previous existence. The call to follow produces a new situation. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)

…Listening In…

Israel, listen! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “U” is for Unity. Yesterday, we talked about “Trinity,” so it seemed only appropriate to follow that up with some talk about “unity.” (Plus, it conveniently starts with the next letter in the alphabet. “Unity” comes from the Latin word for “one.” If you’re from the United States, you’ve seen this Latin word your whole life — on our money. E Pluribus Unum reads the phrase: “Out of many, one.”

So, if the Trinity is a perfect relationship of three persons (read yesterday’s post if that’s confusing; and I’m not saying it will stop being confusing, by the way), then what can we say about the “Unity” of God? Well, judging by the Latin root, we can say God is One. The relationship among Father, Son, and Spirit is so perfect, so seamless, so integrated, that God isn’t three. God is One. The old adage is “Trinity of Persons, Unity of Being.”

God invites us to love and serve God in a similar integrated fashion. Note the verse above in the “Listening In” section. “The Lord is our God, the Lord is one,” says Moses. And the very next thing he says is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your strength.” These two thoughts are connected — God’s “Oneness” and our internal unity.

So don’t just love God with a piece of yourself. Don’t compartmentalize by putting your relationship with God in an box on the shelf, which you take down only when you need something. Rather, love God with the whole of yourself, with you heart and being and strength — with the unity that is you.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the Mighty One who sustains the universe and the Intimate One who keeps me whole; help me to love you with my entire being and to dedicate myself wholly to you. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, trusting that you never leave me, trusting that you are above, below, behind, before, beside, and within me.

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