Love remains - Reflections 5-30-19

Texts for the 
7th Sunday after Easter
June 2, 2019

Acts 16:16-34 
Psalm 97 
Rev 22:12-14, 16-17 
John 17:20-26

It is easy to let my mind wander when I listen to 
John 17…yes, the whole chapter. 

Jesus is praying for his followers just before he is arrested in the chapter 18. It seems like Jesus is just going around in circles, mine are yours and yours are mine…you’re in me and I’m in you, they’re in us… they are one as we are one. It is good he decided to teach us how to pray with the Lord’s Prayer instead of this one.

In his defense (like Jesus needs me to defend his prayer), Jesus was praying, not teaching. Praying like a parent who is leaving a child, maybe the child is beginning the first year in college far away or maybe heading off for serious surgery.  Many fervent and circular prayers have been prayed by parents - and by anyone who loves - at times like that. Coherence is not the goal. 

The meaning of Jesus’ ardent and impassioned prayer is crystal clear. Listen behind the words. 
Love lies in the center. 

Jesus cherishes the relationship he has with God and he cherishes the relationships he has with his beloved disciples. And do notice that he also cherishes the relationships in the future (that would be us). He prays that his love brings all those relationships together into – yup – one love. 

Because Jesus and God are one, being loved by Jesus, and by loving Jesus, followers can know that we are loved by God and that we love God.  “The love you (God) have for me (Jesus) will become a part of them.” Soon, Jesus will no longer be present in body; so, he asks to be a part of each one, to be love. 

Why? Because of that one love in Jesus’ followers, including us, all the world will see that Jesus’ love is God’s love. And the world will see Jesus’ love in us. God will be known through our love.

John said back in Chapter 1 that God so loved the world that the Word that was made flesh and lived - and loved - among us. 

Now, as the Word leaves flesh, love remains.

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245