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In the sequence of things, last Thursday was Ascension Day, the day Jesus rose into heaven, and next Sunday is Pentecost, the day the spirit of Jesus, His Holy Spirit visits the disciples with power, it is the birthday of the church.
Today, is a waiting day, a day to reflect upon all that Jesus had said, all that he had taught, all that he had done.
I imagine the disciples at this moment felt confused, felt alone, felt lost, were wondering what was going to happen next, were wondering if this was the end or just a beginning as Jesus had promised. They probably felt frightened, alone, insecure, amazed, and perplexed.
They had just seen Jesus rise into heaven, they had just seen their friend, their teacher, their Lord go away from them. This was a glorious event, for now they were certain that Jesus was with the Father, now they knew for sure that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, now they knew for sure that Jesus and the Father were really one.
But on the other hand, now they were alone, without their friend, without their leader, without their companion. Yes, today in the lives of the disciples was a day that was really in between times, in between the time when they had Jesus with them, and before the time when they would be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, this was a awkward time for the disciples. It was a time for them to think about the words of Jesus, to dwell on his teaching, to recall his promises for them.
And I think it is very appropriate that this text from Johnís gospel has been chosen for today. For if the disciples were to think about this text, if they could recall this conservation with Jesus, if they could remember these words, this in between time wouldnít seem so frightening, nor would they seem so alone.
This was Jesusí high priestly prayer. The prayer that Jesus prayed with his disciples before the events of Holy Week. He prayed this to comfort the disciples who could not understand this prayer then, but now following the death and resurrection of Jesusí,following his ascension, now they could really appreciate the words of this prayer, now they could understand what Jesus was saying, what he meant.
As we look at this prayer of Jesus, we can see that the disciples could have drawn strength from it they could power, they could draw assurance that indeed would be with Jesus again somehow.
Jesus says: "Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one."
Jesus praying that the disciples would remain in faith, remain in the name of the Father, remain true to the teaching that he had taught them. This is important for the in between time.
It would have been so easy for the disciples to forget all that Jesus had taught them, it would have been easy to say: well it back to the fishing boats, it is all over. It was good while it lasted, but Jesus is gone, we are alone, there is nothing more for us to do, letís go back to something we know, something we can do. It would have been very easy for the disciples to have thought this way. But if they could have, which I am sure they did, remember this prayer of Jesus, then they would of have the power, the strength and the encouragement to wait, to stay in Jerusalem for the coming of the Spirit.
Jesus wanted the disciples to have faith, to remain true to the
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