Saturday, May 12, 2018
John 17:6-19 Jesus prayed for his disciples, “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
Reflection OK, today it is time for a reboot, time to install a new operating system. Our old way of thinking and being in the world is no longer working. One after another of our systems are crashing, our programs are failing, and so today we glue ourselves to Jesus and pray for a new operating system. Which, by the way, is what I believe Jesus was doing two thousand years ago while standing within earshot of the disciples and praying aloud to God affirming that the Word, the truth that he has passed on to the disciples, is setting them crosswise with the world’s status quo such that they no longer belong and need protection.
In and of and through his life Jesus passes on the revelation of God’s Incarnate Presence to the disciples and “now they have everything” (a new operating system) that God has given to Jesus. The disciples have received the way and truth and life as incarnated by Jesus. They have heard Jesus’ words, witnessed his compassionate actions and participated in his ministry of healing. The questions now are, “When Jesus is no longer physically present, will the disciples hold fast to the truth they have received? Will they continue to act out of the new operating system? Or will they be vulnerable to a world that hates their way of compassion, community, and common good and revert to the old zero-sum system of competition for power and privilege? When Jesus is no longer physically present, will the disciples (and by extension us) will we succumb to the countervailing forces in the world that promote ill will, self-worship and separation - the defunct and dysfunctional old operating system?”
Jesus knows all of this and so prays for protection for the disciples, something I imagine he must have done for himself every day when he wandered off by himself to pray. Jesus knows that his life depends on God the Father; it is written into the source code of his operating system. Jesus knows that all he says and does is given to him by the Father, the source. In his words, “Everything you (God) have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them (disciples.)…”
Like Jesus, like the disciples, we are sent into the world and do not belong to the world. When we attempt to go it alone, putting our faith in the old operating system, fighting to assert our individual rights and express our personal powers, we are doomed. But, if like Jesus we remember our Source and hold fast to our new operating system, like Jesus we will be sanctified, affirmed and set apart to continue Gods’ work in the world.
If you found this post to be meaningful please share by clicking on icons below. Thank you.