Saturday, April 21, 2007

Arrival and departure

Post for Sunday 13th May 2007

John 14:23-29

14:23 Jesus answered him, "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.

14:24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

14:25 "I have said these things to you while I am still with you.

14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

14:28 You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.

14:29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

Life is full of arriving and departing
(we are in the middle of this now ....possible posts here)
But it is more than just getting on and off trains and planes
Every day we come and we go,
and others do the same in our lives.
Some of these are bigger experiences than others
I was saying to my sister only recently
how I had been feeling the death of our mother
(over five years can it be?)
These departures are perhaps more significant
and laden with the opportunity
to understand more about life and love.
Equally well, babies are born,
new relationships are formed
and so the coming and going fills our life

So it was for the disciples of Jesus.
He went from them.
And like our lives we realise that as sad as it is
when someone goes, or circumstances change
there is also a necessity about it.
It causes us to grow and mature.
What might Jesus have been drawing out of his disciples

that required him to go away.
there are a number of things:
  • We only realise when we are independent what we can do of our own accord
  • The disciples (us) were pretty pathetic when it came to over-relying on Jesus
  • This has a tendency to make us inactive and lazy
In a way, this analysis is too simplistic, because Jesus also points us to a "life in the Spirit" which is more than just object lessons on how to be independent.
This is an important dimension of the promise of life in Christ
which is not realised simply by overcoming our natural indolence.

For thought and prayer this week

How is God calling me to be open to the Holy Spirit?
Spend some time praying for the increase in God's Spirit in my life

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