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"Do you cherish that of God within you, that his power growing in you may rule your life? Do you seek to follow Jesus who shows us the Father and teaches us the Way?" (Christian Faith & Practice, London Yearly Meeting, 1960)
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
The ideal of humbleness is expressed in selfless service. The ideal of service is expressed in humbleness. Jesus demonstrates this in the timeless tale of foot washing. In the same spirit of love and respect that he shows them, Jesus is inspiring his disciples to serve one another, and all people, regardless of their status or condition. This mirrors God – yes? God created the water in the well, the indwelling spirit within, bathing each of us with this Grace, even though we may not be aware of it, and regardless of our status, condition, or conviction. By washing the feet even of Judas whom Jesus seems to know will betray him, Jesus demonstrates how this ideal includes those that may seem like enemies – he serves and ministers to others without discriminating whether they are friends or foe.
When I took that online retreat, we were to imagine oursleves as disciples and contemplate Jesus washing our feet at the last supper. It was really hard for me to let him do that! There was a sample prayer at the site that sort of expresses how I felt about it ...
How do we take such an overtly symbolic act as foot-washing and bring it into our faith lives?
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.
Just wanted to drop a message by -- thanking folks for their patience and their prayers -- especially as they didn't know what was going on. I'm still not sure I do.
I have a few personal things I need to take care of. Won't be around until after the weekend. Feel free to carry on without me.
Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me ... I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
Jesus is inviting us to look straight into his heart, past his physcial form, past his personality and his earthly being, deep into the secret of what he truly is. When I look that deeply into the heart, I sense God, a living presence there. This is so difficult to describe, but this awareness is truly illuminating. Once this light is recognized , once one is awakened to it, a deep knowing occurs, and with it we cannot ‘remain in darkness' because this light is so penetrating.
This post is a week or so out of date. It relates to an earlier lesson, especially "Whoever serves me, must follow me, and my servant will be with me wherever I am. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him."
Jesus' claims here don't seem all that straight forward to me. To claim as he is shown here: Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. is not to point the finger away from himself and towards God but to point to himself and say -- look here if you want to find God. In the religious context of his day -- surely that was a call for absolute obedience to him.
Then Jesus cried aloud:
Here's the nitty gritty of the situation in Palestine and in ours today. Many or most of our actions are designed for one of the two things, seeking our community's approval or God's. The two may sometimes converge, but at other times there's a vast difference. He who best fits in is least able to pursue the strait and narrow path. Jesus dealt with this truth repeatedly: for example speaking about rich men he gave us the proverbial camel and eye of a needle. And again "ye cannot serve God and Mammon." And over and over!
Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
John presents us with a Christ who saw the cross as his destiny and who saw the glorification of God through that sacrifice. He knows he will be raised. For he sees his death glorifying God in the same way that the blind perosn's sighltless glorified God -- because God can overcome it. John also presents us with a Jesus who knows he is the Christ. Who takes on the label of messiah and the title Son of Man and lays claims to a connection with God that is complete and unequivocal.
"I am troubled now."
Jesus forewarns of his impending ‘death’ by relating the metaphor of the grain of wheat; just as the grain of wheat dies in the field it also brings forth much fruit, as Jesus’ life and wisdom will following his own mortal death. I am so impressed by Jesus that rather than selfishly clinging to his life, attached to his body and his temporal existence, Jesus demonstrates fearlessly letting go of this life, sacrificing attachment to familiar comforts for the promise of eternal life. To serve the Spirit which is within Jesus, Jesus instructs us to follow his consciousness, where he will reside. I note that the man Jesus did have some trepidation, indicated by this statement: “Now my soul is troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour…” This sounds like the fear anybody might utter at such a time, however Jesus finishes his sentence by saying, “…but for this cause came I unto this hour, Father, glorify Thy name.” Again, Jesus shows us his great courage.
Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say: Father, save me from this hour? But it is for this very reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name!
The Good Raised Up: Quaker Ranter: an electronic ministry
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.
Sharing insights from John Sanford's Mystical Christianity (pp 253-5):
unless a wheat grain falls into the earth and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest
Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, 'Sir, we should like to see Jesus.' Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus.
All four gospels record this event -- which from an historical critical perspective lends a certain credibility to it -- or something very similar happening.
I shall stand guard before my home to defend it against all comers, and no oppressor will overrun them ever again, for now I am on the alert.
Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem! Look, your king is approaching, he is vindicated and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
He will banish chariots from Ephraim and horses from Jerusalem; the bow of war will be banished. He will proclaim peace to the nations, his empire will stretch from sea to sea, from the River to the limits of the earth
Zechariah 9:8-10 (NRSV)
We beg you, Yahweh, save us, we beg you, Yahweh, give us victory!
Blessed in the name of Yahweh is he who is coming!
This passage lets Jesus enjoy the welcome of the people who will, ironically, soon be calling for his crcifixion.
The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying:
-- John 12: 12-19 (RSVP)