Summary: A sermon for the 7th Sunday of Easter
7th Sunday of Easter
John 17: 6-19
"In between Time"
6 ¶ "I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept thy word.
7 Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee;
8 for I have given them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine;
10 all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.
11 ¶ And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
12 While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 ¶ Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.
18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.RSV
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
An ancient leaned tells of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. He is met by the angel Gabriel who ask him, "Now that your work is finished, what plans have you made to insure that the truth you brought to earth will spread throughout the world?"
Jesus answered, "I called some fishermen and tax-collectors to walk along with me as I did my Father’s will."
"Yes, I know about them," said Gabriel, "but what other plans have you made? "
Jesus replied, "I taught Peter, James and John about the kingdom of God; I taught Thomas about faith; and all of them were with me as I healed and preached to the multitudes."
Gabriel began to lose patience. "Really now, all this is well and good, but surely you must have other plans to make sure your work was not in vain."
Jesus fixed Gabriel with a steady gaze and said with finality, "I have no other plans. I am depending on then!! "
Jesus said he was depending on the disciples, depending on them to spread the message of love, mercy, and compassion to all the world. He was depending on them as he said in Matthew 28:19 " Go and makes disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, and lo, I am with you to the close of the age." Jesus was depending on the disciples, but he would not leave them alone, for he promised them a helper, one who would come in power to give them the needed power to spread his message.
The disciples knew all of this. And today in the church year is a day of waiting, a time for reflection, a time to stop, to ponder, to listen quietly, to pray, to feel, to experience, to wait and to wonder.
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.