“The glory that you [Father] have given me
I have given to them,
that they may be one even as we are one…”
There is a sequence here, a sequence of glory, but it is not glory as the world gives (Jn. 14:27). Jesus passes on to his disciples the same glory that he received from the Father. It is a “self-emptying glory” rather than the world’s glory of “self-aggrandizement.” The Father has emptied himself of the self-aggrandizing glory of a godly condemnation of sinners (Jn. 3:17). Jesus has emptied himself of the self-aggrandizing glory of grasping after godhood (Ph. 2:6). And now Jesus passes on to his disciples the emptying themselves of the self-aggrandizing glory of possessing a righteousness of their own rather than the righteousness that Jesus gives them (Ro. 10:3-4). Through this sequence of self-emptying, the Trinitarian oneness grasps hold of Jesus’ disciples then, and his disciples now. The Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father. Jesus is in the disciples and the disciples are in Jesus. The discourse proceeding from the Father and from the Son, that is the Holy Spirit, is now the discourse between Jesus and the disciples. This discourse, the Holy Spirit, calls them through the Gospel, enlightens them with his gifts, sanctifies and preserves them in true faith—which is nothing less than the confidence that the Father has loved them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) even as he has loved Jesus before the foundation of the world (Jn. 17:24).
Prayers from one so resistant to self-emptying that his “self” must be driven down to the emptiness of death before receiving the life of Jesus…
Holy Father, in your Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, you have provided for the oneness of the communion of saints, the very body of Christ in this old and broken creation. Grant that I receive this oneness through the gift of being emptied of self rather than my attempts at achieving oneness through self-aggrandizing righteousness. Lord in your mercy, hear my prayer.
Holy Father, as I enjoy your love received through self-emptying glory, grant that your love flow through me to my neighbors as I point to Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Lord in your mercy, hear my prayer.
Holy Father grant to me such ears that I hear the gospel calling me into your love that has been mine since before the foundation of the world. Lord in your mercy, hear my prayer.
Holy Father so make my sanctification complete that I go out in service to creation and community with no thought of being righteous. Lord in your mercy, hear my prayer.
Holy Father, my oneness in you means my oneness with my neighbors. Since we are part of the same body—that of Christ Jesus—let me not harm my own flesh by doing harm to them. Lord in your mercy, hear my prayer.
Holy Father, hold the Institute of Lutheran Theology under your protection and grant that it preaches and teaches as Jesus has taught us. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Holy Father, grant me to hold this oneness in faith until that day when faith shall become sight. Lord in your mercy, hear my prayer.