John 17:23 "I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." Please let me share one more reflection from Arlington, and that is the unity that I felt among all the soldiers buried there. They all had found one common goal, that of protecting our country and its allies. Regardless of their political convictions or their own likes and dislikes, regardless of what state they lived in, they all were soldiers in the military of the United States of America.
What about us in the army of the Lord? As Jesus said, "I in them and you in me. . . " We all have the same Spirit if Christ Jesus lives in us. "May they be brought to complete unity. . ." This is Jesus' prayer. Why? . . ."to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." And, once again, I'll have to give honor to Billy Graham, whose funeral will be this week. He kept the main thing the main thing. He preached Jesus Christ and the love of God for all. May we all live in that spirit of unity, that Spirit of the Living God. Some have made statements regarding the need for another Billy Graham. Only Billy Graham could be Billy Graham and fulfill the specific task God set before him. But we each can fulfill our calling in the same Spirit of the Lord.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. . . It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:1-16).
In this unity, we give ourselves to something greater than ourselves, just as the soldiers whose remains lay in the Arlington National Cemetery.