Thursday, March 28 – Holy Thursday

John 17

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, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

‘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. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 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. 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. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 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. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’

Service at 7pm

First, let me encourage you to be at the church tonight as we experience the celebration of Holy Communion. I know it will be a great blessing for your Holy Week Journey.

Second, I would suggest that you read today’s Scripture from start to finish in one session. It is the end of a section that actually begins at the start of Chapter 13. We sometimes call this section the Upper Room Discourse. It begins when Jesus gathers his disciples in the Upper Room to share the Passover meal. He washes their feet and begins to teach them. You may want to read the entire section starting with Chapter 13 and flowing through Chapter 17. You will be reading a personal prayer that was offered by Jesus.

The prayer unfolds in three major parts. Initially the prayer draws a focus on the relationship Jesus shares with God the Father. From there he shifts his attention to the disciples who are present in the room with him. Finally he projects his prayer into the future as he prays for all who will believe in his name in days to come. Be sure to read it as a prayer. Read it slowly. You might even want to read it through two or three times to get the full flavor of his passion.

As you come to the end of your reading please set your Bible down and simply reflect for a few moments. Let the prayer of Jesus sink into your soul. Consider what it would mean if Jesus (his person and his teaching) was actually imbedded into your spirit.

Now, read the last verse once again and ask yourself, what does it mean to be ‘in Christ and for Christ to be in me?’

How would my service, my spiritual life, and my personal generosity change if I was aware of Jesus being present in my life each day? How would the Circle of Love be impacted?


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