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Playing Our Part

"I am not praying for these alone but also for the future believers who will come to me because of the testimony of these. My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father - that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.

"I have given them the glory you gave me - the glorious unity of being one, as we are - I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one - so that the world will know you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want them with me - these you've given me - so that they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me before the world began!

"O righteous Father, the world doesn't know you, but I do, and these disciples know you sent me. And I have revealed you to them, and will keep revealing you so that the mighty love you have for me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:20-26 (TLB)

All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign - a child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning, "God is with us"). Isaiah 7:14 (TLB)

From a young age, Jody Williams, from Illinois, was taught at home and in church about God's promises in scripture - those God has already kept and those yet to be fulfilled. Jody imagines that the childhood of Mary, the mother of Jesus, may have been similar.

In her time, the Jews were eagerly awaiting the Messiah, so they likely studied scriptures that talked about him. Isaiah 7:14 says, "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." It amazes Jody to think that Mary may have sat at the feet of a priest from the temple and heard this passage read, having no idea that it was speaking of her.

Two thousand years later, as we and Jody read the word of God, we can be assured that we have a part in the unfolding story. We may not have been assigned a role as well known as Mary's; but when Jesus prayed for future believers in John 17:20-26, he was talking about us. Our part in the story is to be united with other believers so that all will see the love of Christ in us. When we follow God's commands by loving one another, we become important characters in the best story ever written.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for allowing us to play a part in your unfolding story. Help us to love others the way Jesus prayed we would and to share your truth every day, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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