Tag Archives: I will not leave you as orphans

Sunday Devotional: The Ascension of our Lord

In the 40 days after He resurrected from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared several times to His apostles — in their homes, on the road, by the shores of the lake . . . .

Every time, strangely, His apostles did not recognize Him at first. We are told that’s because Jesus is transfigured — just as we, should we be so blessed, will be in “glorified bodies” when we are resurrected from the dead at the end of this world.

How precious those times must be which the apostles shared with their risen Lord.

And then, 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus told the apostles:

Acts 1:8-11

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Every time I read that passage, I weep, as I imagine how wrenching it must be for the apostles to say goodbye to their lord, master and friend forever.

But of course, Jesus would not just abandon His apostles — nor us.

John 14:19, 18, 16-17

“the world will not see me anymore . . .
I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him,
for He lives with you
and will be in you.”

Not only did the Father send us the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, Jesus also left us His Body and Blood.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

How very much He must love us . . . .

May the joy and peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you.

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Whoever loves me will keep my word

John 14:23-27

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

Today, the universal Church celebrates the 6th Sunday of Easter — the Sunday before the Ascension of our Lord.

In the above Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus prepares the disciples for His imminent departure, but reassures them — and us — that His physical departure does not mean we are abandoned.

To begin, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Triune Godhead, would be sent to instruct, guide and actually dwell inside us. How amazing and cool is that!

Next, with His usual incisiveness and sweeping aside all the dizzying minutiae of Talmudic-Judaic laws and prescriptions, Jesus imparts to us a simple formula for how we are to be His faithful followers:

Whoever loves me will keep my word

And what is His word?

It really is as simple and profound as that.

For if we truly love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength, then we also are faithful to the Ten Commandments because the ten follow the one, logically and naturally.

And if we do that — if we love Him not with empty words, but with our actions by following His word — then we will have peace and not be troubled or afraid.

All of which would explain why study after study testifies to the beneficent effects of being a true and faithful follower of Christ. See:

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: He will never abandon us

Mark 7:31-37

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

He made the deaf hear and the mute speak.

He multiplied a few loaves and fishes to feed thousands.

He walked on water and calmed the roiling sea.

He cast out demons and resurrected the dead.

And He promised He would not leave us as orphans, that He will be with us always, until the end of time. (John 14:18; Matthew 18:20)

So when we sometimes feel despairing and abandoned by God, know this:

Our God is good and all-powerful and He loves us, in spite of ourselves.

He never disappoints. He never betrays our trust.

He loves us so much He willingly died for us.

And He will never, ever abandon us.

May the courage, peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: ‘I will be with you always’

In the 40 days after He resurrected from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared several times to His apostles — in their homes, on the road, by the shores of the lake . . . .

Every time, strangely, His apostles first did not recognize Him. We are told that it’s because He is transfigured — just as we, should we be so blessed, will be in “glorified bodies” when we are resurrected from the dead at the end of this world.

How precious those times must be which the apostles shared with their risen Lord.

And then, 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples that He would send them the Holy Spirit and commanded that they be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

“When he had said this,
as they were looking on,
he was lifted up,
and a cloud took him from their sight.”
Acts of the Apostles 1:8-9.

Every time I read that passage, I weep, as I imagine how wrenching it must be for the Apostles to say goodbye to their lord, master and friend forever.

This scene from Sir Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: Return of the King — of Sam, Merry and Pippin saying goodbye to Gandalf and Frodo (both Christ-like figures in their self-sacrificing love for others) forever — captures some of that gut-wrenching grief:

But of course, Jesus would not just abandon His apostles, nor us.

John 14:19, 18, 16-17

“the world will not see me anymore . . .
I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him,
for He lives with you
and will be in you.”

Not only did the Father send us the Holy Spirit, who lives with us and will be in us, Jesus also left us His Body and Blood:

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

How very much He must love us . . . .

May the joy and peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Eowyn

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