Tag Archives: John 14

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: I will not leave you orphans

John 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

Before the resurrected Christ left this mortal coil, knowing that we would feel bereft, He promised us that although “the world will not see me anymore…I will not leave you as orphans”.

That is how much Jesus loves us.

He promised we would never be alone — He would ask the Father to send “another Advocate” who will be with us “always”.

That Advocate who is sent to us is the Holy Spirit.

The dictionary defines “advocate” as one who publicly supports, recommends, defends, pleads and speaks in favor of, as a lawyer before a court.

Imagine that!

Not only does the Holy Spirit bring us charisms or gifts — those of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord — the Third Person of the Triune Godhead is also our advocate who understands, defends and pleas for us, flawed creatures that we are.

So you are not and you are never alone. You have the Holy Spirit within you, always.

Ask the Spirit to comfort you in your sorrow, and to guide, instruct and enlighten you through the vicissitudes and brambles of life.

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit,

You are God. I praise you because you are holy, and I thank you for dwelling in my heart. Thank you for working in my life. You guided me into salvation, renewed my dead spirit, and you opened my eyes to the Truth. Thank you.

Help me to see you more clearly – to recognize your movement in my life. Make me more sensitive to you so I can follow you more closely. Still, I know that I am selfish and rebellious. I need you to help me be obedient when I recognize your leading. I need you.

I ask you for your help and comfort today. You know my pain and anxieties very well. Thank you for praying over me. Help me to rest in your comfort today.

Help me to walk in you, the Spirit of God. Grow good fruit in my life. You are the one who produces these in me: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I cannot live out these things on my own; I need you.

Amen

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

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: I am going to prepare a place for you

John 14:1-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.
Thomas said to him,
Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”

“I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.”

In those words is the promise from our Lord that our bodily death is not the end of all things, and that if we follow Him (“the way”) we will transcend death and be with Him for all eternity.

Those of us who have lost a loved one, as I have last year, should take comfort in that promise, given eloquent expression by Henry Scott-Holland (1847-1918), a priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral of London who delivered the poem below as part of a sermon in 1910:

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ 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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