“…so filled with the love of Jesus, that it overflows into service and love for others. And the world will see that following Christ truly is the way to a purpose-filled and abundant life, not just now, but forever.”
Hello Gloria Dei
Who is a character from the past that you admire? Who is someone from past centuries that you’d like to meet? As an English major and lover of literature, I’d love to have dinner with Shakespeare. As a pastor and theologian, I’d love to spend time with the Apostle Paul or Saint Augustine. Who might those people be for you?
Now, imagine, that the person you’re thinking of has left some manuscripts that had never been found, until now. And in those manuscripts, that person, the one you are admiring, has a section that is all about you. Somehow, that person knew you were going to exist in the future, and that you’d admire them. So, they write all about you.
As we read and preach through the New Testament this year, our assigned readings for this week are John chapters 14 to 17. As you read chapter 17, you’ll see that Jesus prays for his disciples. But then when you get to verse 20 and following, Jesus is praying for you.
Jesus prays to his Father: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.”
Jesus, even from way back 2000 years ago, was thinking of you. He was and is praying for you. His prayer is that as a follower of Jesus in today’s world, that you, together with me and the whole Christian church around the world, would be united around the saving love and grace found in Jesus.
Now, let’s be clear, being united doesn’t mean we have to worship in exactly the same way; it doesn’t mean that every church needs to use the same hymnal or style of worship. It doesn’t mean that each congregation can’t be unique in many ways.
But what it does mean is that as the rest of the world views the church, it will see a people so filled with the Holy Spirit… so filled with the love of Jesus, that it overflows into service and love for others. And the world will see that following Christ truly is the way to a purpose-filled and abundant life, not just now, but forever.
Take heart, Jesus is praying for you. What an awesome reality. As you go about your daily routines and the vocations to which you are called, know that Jesus is thinking all about you, and praying that you, together with the whole church, will be filled with the Spirit in order that together we might give witness to the saving work of Jesus through our words and our deeds.
One note about this weekend’s worship. As we do occasionally, we will be singing all hymns this weekend, allowing our praise band to sit with and worship with their families, while we praise God through some of the wonderful hymns of the faith.
See you in worship,