Yesterday I had the privilege to teach John 17 to our church family alongside one of the young men in our church, Justin Lenny. The byline to the morning was “what a 20 something wants to pray for their parents and what a parent wants to pray for their 20 something year old child”. It was a fast paced journey through John 17. Fast paced and John 17 don’t usually go together and after we were done I wished we were able to engage in more discussion. One of the fun parts of the morning was having two generations dialogue with one another over the implications of Jesus’ prayer. The two week preparation journey for this sermon was profitable for my own development. I was reminded again of how encouraged I am about the future of church leadership in the Canadian church. Justin is an example of many young men and women that I interact with that have a longing for God and the mission of Jesus Christ. Learning from the next generation is one of the greatest highlights for me.The big idea for our talk together in John 17 is that we need to pray for what is important and that means we should be praying for what Jesus prayed for us, that God would keep us in our relationship with him right to the end. We identified a number of specific requests that Jesus brought before the heavenly Father, protection from the evil one, a specific calling in our life, unity, and a longing for the fullness of glory. As we studied John 17 together we came to the conviction that these were key to persevering to the end.I wish we were able to give more time to the unity section of this passage. Specifically I would have liked to talk more about unity with one another and its broader implications. As Justin and I discussed the implications of Jesus’ request for unity with one another we did note that this unity is rooted in the cross and that meant that our unity is not with everyone. We are united and called to live in unity with those who believe in who Jesus is, what he has done, and the nature of his sacrifice. Our unity is not with all who simply claim to part of Jesus or with the world. Unity is not tolerance of all. This does not mean we are against those who are not followers of Christ it just means we are not united to them. This does mean we don’t discriminate against but at the same time we need to be discriminative. Jesus’ focus is not on organizational unity. Our world full of denominations tends to have us go there but Jesus was not speaking against or to the diversity of our denominational expressions. I am united to followers of Christ whether they are Anglican, Baptist, Catholic or non-denominational in where the gather for their worship of Christ. Our unity is focused on witness. We have a truth message to proclaim and the way we love one another is an expression to the world of the love of God for us and the world. This is an important element to the unity that Jesus is praying for us. This witness as a clearly stated goal, John 17:23. Jesus’ request is not a “why can’t we just all get along” for “getting along” sake. Unity is not lets hold hands around the campfire, sing, and feel good about each other. Unity is about witness with a specific goal, that the world would know that Jesus is the sent one and that God loves the world even as the Father has loved Jesus. This is so powerful. We can’t ignore how important this is. This builds on our sense of calling. It is the joy of Jesus and the cross. It is what we are set apart for.I believe that this leads to some great guiding questions as to our interaction with one another under the banner of unity.Do we believe the same central things as it relates to Jesus and the cross? (there are other questions related to this in particular the nature of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and its broad implications)What is the purpose? Are we living our witness together out in public so that the world will indeed see our unity proclaimed and demonstrated? (This has implications for my small group as much as church to church interaction)What is the goal? Is the goal John 17:23 or is it something else, like we all just need to get along.I learned a lot the last two weeks in the Word with a 20 something year old. Try it some time.