The Word became flesh … and we saw his glory


Readings for May 24, 2020

Acts 1:12-14
Psalm 27:1, 4, 7-8
1 Peter 4:13-16
John 17:1-11

The chapter preceding today’s Gospel reading sets the stage for Jesus’ prayer. The disciples finally “get it.” After a long dialogue, they tell Jesus, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure! Now we know that you know all things, and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God” (v29-30). The significance of this understanding means that Jesus has fulfilled his mission from God.

This mission was not a political mission. It was not a traditionally kingly mission. What Jesus accomplished is to convey an understanding of the Word. This is the glory of God, His Word, His Son; our understanding. Jesus’ mission from his Father was to unite all in God’s Word, and in doing so give all glory to God. While we bicker and nitpick about which congregations’ rules are more correct than others, while we complain about our liturgy, our pastors or our priests, while we pray for our own satisfaction, we fall short. In truth, we are no different than the disciples, who may “get it” this week, but who likely will falter at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. 

Fortunately, the mission is not to ensure I never falter. And I know that even when I sin, I can again recover, just as I know that the disciples will be one in the Spirit after Pentecost, again giving glory to God. “All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.”

When we are one in our understanding of the Word, when together we give glory to God through Christ, when we seek to be led by the Spirit through trying times, this is the fulfillment of our mission. This is our peace. 

I see this prayer of Jesus and the comprehension finally attained by us and his disciples as pivotal to Christ’s fulfillment of what John proclaimed at the start of his Gospel account. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1). And now, Jesus is in full preparation mode to return to his Father, “with the glory which I had with You before the world was made.”

We belong to God, we have heard this in plain speech from our Savior. And to remain in Christ and in his glory, we must live in the truth and in unity praise him, so as to fully prepare to return to our Father.

Lord Jesus, you have given me the Word that God has given to you. Through that Word, may I keep your Word in my heart, living in the understanding through the Spirit and in truth. I ask this in your name. Amen

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