Monday, April 21, 2008

Begin the Weekly Sermon Preparations

John 14:15-21
”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Main Themes: love, commandments, gift of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit), unity with the Trinity

Initial Thoughts: what captures my attention is the intimacy and connectiveness expressed between God and believers - "On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." I think that is a kind of intimacy we all yearn for, a kind of certainty and identity of which we wish to be a part. How often we feel the opposite! How often we feel miles and miles away from our Father, away from certainty. We feel lonely, disconnected, uncertain at different times in our lives, sometimes for long periods of time. So what are we to make of this promise that Jesus makes to his disciples during his Farewell Discourses?

Other Questions to more fully explore: The Gospel of John has such an emphasis on love - what does it mean to love God, and what does it mean to love God by keeping God's commandments?

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