URC Daily Devotion Saturday 2 July 2022

St John 17: 20 – 26

 ‘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. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,  so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  ‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me.  I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’

Reflection

This prayer was prayed by Jesus just before his death, and could be called his High Priestly Prayer, because he intercedes with God on behalf of the disciples, both present and future. Maybe we ought to think of this prayer, rather than the “Our Father,” as the Lord’s Prayer, because it’s the prayer in which Jesus pours out his heart. The prayer is also known as Jesus’ Last Will and Testament, because it represents Jesus’ provision for the disciples’ needs on the eve of his death.

We could look at the passage as being full of despair. Why?  Because the disciples have proven disappointing, even though Jesus has tried to prepare them for his coming death and resurrection, they have failed to understand. They expect a Messiah of worldly power, like King David, and have not been able to grasp the very different character of Jesus’ ministry. The disciples are nondescript and few in numbers and No CEO today would entrust a significant project to such an undistinguished group, but Jesus is leaving the future of God’s work in their hands—and in God’s hands. That is the key—in God’s hands. Jesus is leaving the disciples, but he is not leaving them alone. The Holy Spirit will accompany them—will strengthen them—guide them. The union of the disciples with Father, Son, and Spirit makes the impossible possible. This tiny band of ordinary people will turn the world upside down.

 It is the cry-of-the-heart of perfect love, and it is the prayer of perfect faith. Jesus knows these disciples’ weaknesses, but he also knows that God will take care of them, just as he knows our weaknesses and knows that God will take care of us.

Prayer

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what thou dost love
and do what thou wouldst do.
Breathe on me, breath of God,
Till I am wholly thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with thy fire divine.
Breathe on me, breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with thee the perfect
of thine eternity. 
Amen
 

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