May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. . . .
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The word I find that resonates through this passage is unity. May God give you the same attitude as Jesus had. May you with one mind and one voice glorify God. May you accept one another as Christ accepted you.
Jesus told his disciples that he and the Father are one. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed to do not his will but his Father’s will. Jesus said he does nothing on his own, but only that which is his Father’s will. In Ephesians 4:13, Paul urges us to work to build up the body of Christ 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.
This unity is what binds together the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in what we call the Trinity. When we attain a degree of unity, it will be because we fully understand and desire to do only what God wants for us. We will be together in faith and practice, glorifying God by doing his will. We need both God’s encouragement and endurance as we seek to become mature in faith and united in our mission as believers.
God of hope, endurance and encouragement – you have a greater vision of our human potential than we do ourselves. You encourage us to hope in what we cannot see now, and you give us endurance to continue striving towards a goal of unity among believers. I pray that we will be united in our desire to love you and serve our neighbors like Jesus. I pray for us to grow to maturity in faith, that together we may glorify you in Jesus Christ. Amen.