Today’s verses highlight the promise of the continuing presence
of God and Christ within the Christian community.
Verse 18 reflects Jesus’ speaking to the feelings of loneliness in
the disciples. First, he reassures them that they will not be left
alone or orphaned, a term that conjures up various meanings. I
envision an overwhelming aloneness or desolation, the feeling
that probably resides in the heart of the disciples at this time.
Second, Jesus tells them, “I am coming to you”—meaning that
the Advocate will provide the same support and sustenance they
have known during his life among them.
Jesus goes on in verses 19-21 to make a strong statement
about his future and an even stronger statement about the challenge
ahead for all disciples. “In a little while” he will leave
them through death, but “on that day” following his resurrection,
they will know that he lives again in the Father.
The challenge for Christians is that believing requires more
than mental action. Belief encompasses more than knowing
rules or commandments—it integrates knowledge and obedience
into a way of life. An effective made-up word for this kind
of obedience is followship. Disciples live in service and obedience
to the Son whose commands come from God. The verse
goes on to indicate that not only will Jesus love such disciples,
but he will also reveal himself to them.
I often fail to integrate knowledge and obedience. Sometimes
I take the quickest or the least painful way rather than the
way of challenge. I will busy myself in the kitchen rather than
sit and visit with the homeless persons I’ve volunteered to feed.
Or I might pretend not to see a friend who is visibly upset. From
this time forward, I shall accept this challenge gladly.
O God, may we accept the challenge to integrate our knowledge with our obedience into a life of followship. Amen.
The psalm and the Acts reading address the ways in which the concrete faith claims of the community have credence outside that community. They undertake to make the faith credible to outsiders. On the basis of personal testimony, the psalm invites the nations to share in the new life given by God who has saved. Paul makes concrete confessional claims about Jesus in response to the religious inclinations of his Hellenistic listeners. The Gospel and epistle readings focus on the needs of the church community and seek to offer pastoral consolation. The psalm and Acts readings are a “journey out” to the nations and to attentive nonbelievers. The Gospel and epistle readings are a “journey in” to the life and needs of the church.
• Read Psalm 66:8-20. Recall a time when God did not let your feet slip.
• Read Acts 17:22-31. What are your unknown gods? What are your known gods that become idols in your life? How do they affect your relationship with the God who made the world and everything in it?
• Read 1 Peter 3:13-22. When have you suffered while doing good? What did you learn about God? about yourself?
• Read John 14:15-21. How have you experienced the Advocate’s companionship and guidance?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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