The Most Glorious Act Imaginable
This is the last prayer of Jesus that John gives before Jesus was taken to be crucified. It is part of a long, quiet, intimate conversation that Jesus had with his disciples immediately before his crucifixion. He asks to be glorified, knowing that he is about to be executed in a shameful and agonizing way. And then he prays for those closest to him, that they may be kept safe from the world, and that they may be one.
It is difficult to understand what Jesus means here by “glorified.” Certainly he is to be glorified later in his resurrection, but in the context, the immediate prospect here is his death on the cross for the sins of the world. Perhaps we are not wrong to see that the highest glory is not coming in pomp with millions of angels, but in a selfless love. In a lowly death, Jesus was performing the most glorious act imaginable, the redemption of us all.
The prayer that all the disciples should be one has yet to be answered. We know from Paul’s letters that there were divisions in the church in his day, and the whole Christian community remains to this day sadly broken to pieces.
—Dr. Robert Allen
- What are some of the major causes of the disunity of the Church?
- Are there advantages to denominationalism? What are they?
- What do you feel is unique about the Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s role as a denomination today?
How Do I Act?
- Learn more about other denominations. Your local library can furnish you with a handbook on Christian denominations or you can google it. Discover the organizational structure of these churches and the history of their origins. It would help to learn who their important leaders have been and how they relate to other churches.
- Learn more about the history of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and its position in the Christian community. If you are in Cordova, Tennessee, stop by the Cumberland Presbyterian Archives to get a feel for our history and look at some of the unique historical pieces that they have acquired from our churches. The archives is housed within the denominational Center at 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN, 38016.
- Talk to friends and co-workers who belong to other denominations about what their faith has in common with yours. If it is possible, try to worship in some of their congregations. It is in the worship services that you can sometimes get a better feel for their history and theology of a church. Invite friends and co-workers to attend a special event or worship service at your church as a sharing of the common Christian experience.