If we ever get used to the idea that you and I are one, not two, it profoundly affects how we think about God and ourselves. Paul spoke many times of being “in Christ,” and “Christ in him” (Gal.2). How we interpret his words changes if he and Christ were one instead of two.
When Jesus prayed that we would experience our oneness with God the way he did (Jn.17), how we hear his prayer changes if we are one with him… and one with God… instead of two.
It’s amazing our spiritual forebears intuited our oneness with one another and with God so long before the quantum physicists figured it out.
I am the vine. You are the branches. Remain in me. I remain in you. With you in me… and me in you; this is a fruitful life! (Jesus – Jn. 15)
I used to hear this text like this…
There is The Vine (Jesus). And then there are some branches (you and me). If we branches work really hard to stay connected to The Vine, some really good things will happen for us.
That’s what I heard. But that’s not what Jesus said.
Think about horticulture for a minute and you’ll realize that a vine is not a vine without branches; and branches are not branches without a vine. There is a oneness about the vine-branch reality. Twoness means only death to both. Fruitfulness only exists when vine-branch oneness happens.
And they questioned Jesus: “Lord! When did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Thirsty and give you drink? Naked and clothe you? Sick or in prison and go see you? When, Lord?”
And Jesus answered; “the truth of this thing is that whenever you did these things for even the least among you, you did it for me.” (Mt. 25)
In some real way, caring for people is caring for Jesus. Caring for others is caring for self… is caring for Jesus. In some real way, we are one; not two which means that loving neighbor is loving self. Loving enemy is loving self.
If we can get our heads around this foreign idea; it changes everything.
We, who are many, are one body in Christ. We are, each of us, members one of another. (Rom.12)