From the Rector’s Study
Easter VII, Jesus prays for the disciples
May 24th, 2020 John 17:1-11
Jesus says; ”I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me.”
Why not the whole world?
Perhaps this says something about the connection between prayer and action, and also a connection between the person being prayed for and the one doing the praying.
This does not mean we shouldn’t pray for the big picture and care for the whole world, but a more localized focus is important.
One of my prayer practices is to pray for people in silence, those whom I know or knew but have no knowledge of them needing any particular prayer, or have any knowledge of them struggling with anything in particular. In the silence I see their faces one at a time in my mind’s eye.
But Jesus is not just praying for them as individuals but as disciples together, “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”
This suggests the prayer is not just to keep them as they are, but to help them to work together and see their sense of connection to each other. Prayer is about connection and support for one another.
The words from Wednesday, May 13th come to mind for us today
John 15: 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
& Luke 8:16 No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.
The vine and the light in balance together.
Too much vine and not enough light; we are too passive, letting God do all the work.
Too much light and not enough vine, we think we can do it all ourselves and this is pride.
The thought is balance, or confidence but not over-confidence in living out our relationship with God and our neighbours. But let us not be too hard on ourselves, as we are realistically hardly ever in balance, and shift from one side to the other. So let us not be too hard on ourselves and each other, and that is why the prayer is not only for the disciples then but for us as well. That we receive from God and community what we need and we contribute to the community as we can, to the best of our abilities, this day and forevermore. Amen
Your may have other thoughts about this,
And you can e-mail me if you would like,