As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
The rise of Christianity is nothing short of amazing. From small and humble beginnings the faith has been transferred from generation to generation to generation so that now Christians number in the billions. Much (maybe all) of that growth has come because of this simple seed of prayer that Jesus prayed so very long ago. It has always been the will of God that the faith be transmitted one heart at a time in a loving and relational context.
I believe that this is why love is the banner that flies high over the Body of Christ. When Jesus prays "that they may become perfectly one" he speaks not of a fleshly perfection but a spiritual bond of love that transcends physical imperfections. Since Jesus prayed this prayer the predominance of love and the message of compassion has changed countless lives. When we sacrificially love hurting people they then understand that God loves them.
Lord, help me to love so much that people will believe and know that you love them.