‘The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind-Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So that might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, So that they’ll be as unified and together as we are-I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you’ve sent me and loved them in the same way you’ve loved me.’ (John 17: 21-23, Msg)
Jesus is praying for you and I too have ‘synergy’ in our hearts toward one another. This means working together! The term ‘synergy’ is used to describe a situation and potential outcome where different entities co-operate advantageously for a mutually desired outcome. In other words, we value what we can accomplish in unity (oneness of mind and heart) more than what we could achieve alone. It is the way of the Kingdom of God. Wow, what a mouthful of potential!
Maybe an illustration from business will help. Have you seen gas stations that now have chain restaurants inside of them? Like a Shell station with a McDonald's. They intentioned an effort to make their joint venture more important than their individual corporate vision and values. It is to both of their advantages to have a synergistic venture. The sum of their joint venture is greater than their individualistic parts.
The American way tends to value individualism and being self made over unity and joint vision. That is not Kingdom of God thinking and certainly has not resulted in the answer to the prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17. The church in America tends to reflect the same individualistic attitude. This is reflected in a disjointed sense of mission. Don’t think the world is impressed or drawn to our competitive individualistic expressions of church.
What Jesus is praying is mind-boggling. For all of us to become one heart and mind-just as He and His Father are in complete agreement and unity. He encourages this synergistic lifestyle and walk. His ultimate value is Kingdom relationships. This becomes a dynamic state in which combined action is favored over the sum of individual actions. Can you dare to imagine how exhilarating it is for the Trinity to lay down their individual glory for the sake of our sharing in their glory? It is just as exhilarating for us to endeavor to live in this intentioned synergistic unity-oneness of heart and mind.
Once we see the potential glory of oneness of heart and mind, we can begin to be coordinated in our mission to the world. Think about it-giving the world ill-refutable evidence that Jesus is who He claims and that Papa’s love for the world sent Him. All that is involved in unity, oneness of heart and mind, is our most powerful sign and wonder. Of course, only He can help each of us, by His grace, to overcome the obstacles within. When our hearts and minds become one, the issues that tended to separate us before seem to be meaningless in comparison.
Look out; the time has come for this prayer to be answered in its fullness. Let’s together bring to earth the heavenly synergy of Papa, Jesus and the Holy Spirit!
In the grip of Papa’s grace, Ron Ross