Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are — John 17:11.
As we come to consider this beautiful expression of the Lord's sentiments with reference to the Church, we catch a glimpse of the glory of the blessed oneness of the Divine family. It is a oneness of purpose, a oneness of confidence, a oneness of sympathy, a oneness of love, a oneness of honor, and a oneness of mutual possession. This oneness our Lord described as already existing between Himself and the Father, but so far as His disciples are concerned it was and still is prospective; and its full accomplishment is the ideal goal toward which we are taught to aspire—Z '03, 77 (R 3160).
The Redeemer's prayer for His own is beautiful in its simplicity and comprehensive in its scope. He requests the Father, whose holiness He reverently acknowledges, to use His glorious attributes, plan and works in the interests of His disciples—guiding, directing, restraining, correcting, encouraging and ennobling them to the end that they all might grow into the fullness of the one holy Spirit of God and thus attain the same kind of unity as that which exists between the Father and the Son—not a unity of being, which would imply that all the Lord's people would be one being, but a unity of heart, mind, purpose and will. A glorious family oneness is this and is devoutly to be sought—P '33, 111.
Parallel passages: 1 Pet. 1:5; Jude 1, 24; John 6:39; 17:2, 9, 10, 12-18, 21-23; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 1:10; Gal. 3:28; John 10:30, 38; 14:9, 11, 20; 1 John 1:3; 3:24.
Hymns: 78, 27, 165, 23, 326, 281, 170.
Poems of Dawn, 68: Bringing Home the Flock.
Tower Reading: Z '03, 77 (R 3160).
Questions: Have I this week grown into more of the unity of the Divine family? How? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?
BRINGING HOME THE FLOCK
THROUGH pastures fair,
And sea-girt paths all wild with rock and foam,
O'er velvet sward, and desert stern and bare,
The flock comes home.
A weary way,
Now smooth, then rugged with a thousand snares;
Now dim with rain, then sweet with blossoms gay,
And summer airs.
Yet, safe at last,
Within the fold they gather, and are still;
Sheltered from driving shower and stormy blast,
They fear no ill.
Through life's dark ways,
Through flowery paths where evil angels roam,
Through restless nights, and long, heart-wasting days,
Christ's flock comes home.
Safe to the fold,
The blessed fold, where fears are never known,
Love-guarded, fenced about with walls of gold,
He leads His own.
O Shepherd King,
With loving hands, whose lightest touch is blest!
Thine is the Kingdom, Thine the power, to bring
Thy flock to rest!