Gospel of John 14:23-29
Jesus said to Judas (not Iscariot), “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.
“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, `I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.”
Let us Pray: Everlasting God, you made the world and everything in it, we pray with one voice, proclaiming your presence to all the earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you and give thanks for all wonders of your marvelous creation. We pray in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
We are still in the upper room from last week, it’s still Maundy Thursday. Jesus is in a conversation among friends. And at the center of this conversation is the relationship that has been developing among these friends over the past three years. Now, as his mortal life is drawing to a close, Jesus invites his friends into an even deeper friendship than the one they have shared. He invites them into the eternal relationship he enjoys with the Father. It may still seem strange to be reading about events from Holy Week during the season of Eastertide, but in John’s gospel, these are the chapters where we learn from Jesus himself what living into resurrection reality truly means.
As we either read or hear these familiar and loving words of Jesus: “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” How do they impact you? I like to think of them as those peaceful moments in life. When all seems right with the world. When a sense of calm fills your heart and mind. When you’re not stressed about everything you have to do or everything going on in your life. So, do you get a sense of and experience the peace and presence of Jesus? When we are upset, troubled or fearful Jesus may feel very far away. At these times, if we consciously breathe in his peace and his presence, we may begin to experience his presence with us. We need to stop and breathe in the love, the peace, and the presence of Jesus for a few minutes. We can know God’s peace, which is real, deep, and meaningful, and the ‘peace of God passes all understanding’. We can also know joy and purpose in our lives, but it requires us to do something. We need to love Jesus, and this is not some superficial, sentimental experience, it is practical and significant, we need to be obedient to what he calls us to do. When we do this, God comes to us and makes his home within us. Jesus put it this way: 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. …” (John 14:23)
So many people in this world are searching for peace in all sorts of places except the one place where it alone can be found, in His Word, where Jesus gives us his peace. What’s that you say? “That kind of peace sounds really good. Let us work to have more of it in or lives.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
Let us Pray: Living God, through Jesus Christ you give peace that the world cannot give. By the power of your Holy Spirit calm our troubled and fearful hearts and fill them with rejoicing as we await Christ’s glorious return. We pray this in his name. Amen