Today’s Reading is John 17:1-26.
Today is also the Sunday of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Hence the natural focus is on the most famous phrase from Jesus’ high priestly prayer – verse 21: “I pray that they may all be one.”
One beautiful symbol reflecting this verse is the symbol of the United Church of Christ. It comprises a crown, cross and orb enclosed within a double oval bearing the name of the church and the prayer of Jesus, “That they may all be one” (John 17:21). It is based on an ancient Christian symbol called the “Cross of Victory” or the “Cross Triumphant.” The crown symbolizes the sovereignty of Christ. The cross recalls the suffering of Christ—his arms outstretched on the wood of the cross—for the salvation of humanity. The orb, divided into three parts, reminds us of Jesus’ command to be his “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The verse from Scripture reflects our historic commitment to the restoration of unity among the separated churches of Jesus Christ.