It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Because I Live, a Reflection on John 14:19-21

They are sitting around the supper table. Jesus is preparing them for what is to come. He's told them that one of them will betray him. He has commanded them to love each other. He has reassured them that he is not leaving them without support.

And they will know more than the world knows, "In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me."

How do we Christians see Christ in a way that the world does not? How do we show Christ to the world?

He adds to the promise of vision a promise of life, "Because I live, you also will live."

How does the church demonstrate that Christ lives? How does each congregation? Do congregations recognize that their existence as the church rest on the presence and promises of Christ?

Charles Cousar in Texts for Preaching points out that the world may not particularly value what the church is doing--especially when it is most faithful to Jesus' directive.

How has a denomination or congregation upset the world by doing or saying something that demonstrates our loving Christ and following his commands?

Cousar adds:
At the same time, the church is prevented from an arrogant aloofness from the world, because it knows that the divine presence is a gift. Jesus looks on a potentially orphaned community and asks the Father to send the Paraclete to be present with them. It is not a reward for the church's good behavior or its sincere piety, but an expression of God's grace that the people of God enjoy the presence and direction of God.

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