Seventh Sunday of Easter
June 5, 2011, Seventh Sunday of Easter: Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11
Acts 1:6-14: “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7 He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
John 17:1-11: “After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
6 I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
Seventh Sunday of Easter Comment: In John chapter 3:16, Jesus tells Nicodemus, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. In John 3:16 we are offered the gift of eternal life; however, in John 17:3 Jesus unwraps the gift by defining eternal life. And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. Eternal life is knowing God and it begins, not when we die, but the moment we receive God’s saving grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Then opportunities to know God more deeply and fully are unending for the Christian. This knowing is intimate union like that referred to in Genesis 4:1, Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain. It is the invitation offered in Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God.
Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit we are ‘newly created’, ‘born again’ to new life in Christ. Eternal life gives us new eyes to recognize that the source of fulfillment and happiness is in God alone. Eternal life empowers us to share that happiness and fulfillment when we love our children, protect the elderly, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit those in prison, work to keep our young out of prison, defend the downtrodden, comfort the broken-hearted.and steward God’s creation.
Jesus said, …that they may be one, as we are one. Come Holy Spirit, bring your power and make it so. Amen
©June 2, 2011