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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Then and Still Now, a Reflection on John 14:23-26

In chapter 13, they share their last supper together. Jesus tells them that he is leaving them. In chapter 18, he is arrested and put on trial.

Between these events, John's gospel records for us what we may call his farewell discourse. They ask him questions about matters they are concerned about, and Jesus imparts consolations, warnings, and instructions.

He addresses their concerns, but he is also speaking to us about our concerns, our experiences, our needs, and our obligations.

This is a Bible thing to do. Look back at Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 11:1-8, 13. Moses is saying good by and telling them what to do after he is gone. Faithful people of generations after those wilderness wanderers continued to heed Moses' words. It's not just crossing over the river and you're home--it's living in that home the way God intended. Always was. Still is. Always will be.

In the passage from John that we are looking at today, Jesus emphasizes and entwines love and obedience. "Those who love me will keep my word" and "Whoever does not love me does not keep my word." He's said this before; e.g., 13:34-35; 14:15.

Also entwined with love is presence. In verse 22, one of his followers had asked why Jesus had revealed himself to only the few of them rather than more generally. In verse 23, we have his response, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."

Our showing love to each other enables us to recognize the love we are receiving.

We today are still able to hear the words of Christ through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God--our Advocate and Teacher-- continues to remind us of all that Jesus said to them and so continues to say to us.

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