Sunday, April 17, 2011

John 17:1-18:27

The Passion of the Christ begins in today’s reading. Jesus prepares both himself and his disciples for what is to come through prayer. This is very important to note. If Jesus, who is God, prays to God the Father for protection and strength, then we know how very, very important it is for us, who do not have the intimate connection of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), to pray to God on a frequent and regular basis.

Jesus spends a long time praying not only for his followers, but for those who will believe in Him through the testimony of his followers. This time of prayer strengthens Jesus and his disciples. Jesus calmly goes to meet his fate and stands firm before his accusers. And Peter, despite the fact that he denies Jesus three times, does not run off and hide after the arrest of Jesus. Rather, he follows to where the soldiers take Jesus and mingles in the crowd. Peter’s denial is cowardly and shameful, but can any of us say we would behave differently in that situation? He loves Jesus but his life is also in the balance.

Jesus knows what we are going to do before we do it – both the good and the bad. And he still loves us. Jesus knows us more intimately than we even know ourselves. He intercedes on our behalf to God the Father that we might be forgiven for all the many, many ways we sin each day.

Today, I would like you to think about what it means that the God of the universe who created and knows you better than anyone, still loves you despite what you do and don’t do. AND not only does he still love you but he died on the cross for you.

God, help me to know how much you love me. Help me to respond to that love with humility and gratitude and the desire to serve and follow you. Amen.