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Lent 2018 Devotional—March 8th

Lent 2018 Devotional—March 8th

PRAY

Loving Father, may I have the power to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19).

READ

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” 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. 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.”
John 14:18-24

Remember the mission of Star Trek’s starship Enterprise! It was to explore new worlds, seek out new life, and boldly go where no one has gone before. I sometimes think of that mission when I read Jesus’ words in The Upper Room Discourse. We are truly exploring new worlds, seeking a new kind of life, and going where we have never dreamed. That is, after all, living the life!

Jesus talks in today’s scripture about a profound, radically new life: “On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” Bible commentators suggest that with the phrase “On that day…” Jesus looks ahead to Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church. “Jesus could pour out the fullness of the Holy Spirit of love only after He died, because only then could his followers understand the infinite love of the Father for His children as imaged in the dying Jesus.” (George Maloney, Called to Intimacy)

As the Holy Spirit came upon believers on Pentecost they began to know and experience their union with God: “…know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” The division separating the Creator from His creatures, the Holy One from sinners, has been bridged in Jesus. Incredibly, through Jesus, “we have entered into the same reciprocity of love that unites the Father and the Son.” (C. K. Barrett, The Gospel According to St. John)

Because of the Holy Spirit’s presence in us we can have more than just an intellectual grasp of our oneness with God. Through the Holy Spirit we can live more and more in the reality that Jesus is in us and we are in Him. Jesus’ union with us enables us to accomplish the “greater things” Jesus promised earlier (John 14:12). We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). We are sufficient for anything life throws at us.

Catherine of Sienna spoke from experience when she said, “All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, ‘I am the way.’” (Cited by Regis Martin, Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven) This is the wondrous reality of our oneness with Jesus and our oneness with the Father. The Holy Spirit will lead us into this new way of being and acting, of living and loving.

REFLECT

  • What do you see as some practical implications of Jesus being in you, and
    you being in Jesus?
  • What do you want to say to Jesus about your oneness with Him?

O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

 

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