Submitted by Jan on Wed, 27/04/2016 – 10:04
6th Sunday of Easter
Year C (2015-2016)
Bible Book: John
Verse: 23 – 29
Jesus’ death is nearing and he is sharing this challenging news with his disciples, despite their limited understanding of what is to come. Clearly, in his sharing the concern is not for himself, but for his disciples. In this, Christ models how to love one another in a real and present way. Love is experienced in the encouragement, comfort and reassurance amidst terrible changes and challenges to come. Even through death, God is with us and for those who love and obey God, Christ promises in verse 23 “we (the Father and Son) will come to him and make our home with him”.
How utterly amazing for us today, living with the devastating impact of stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS, to calm our troubled and fearful hearts, because inside us, as followers of Christ, we are home and have a home to love and be loved in, now and forever.
We were created in love for love, to be a community of loving persons, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in love. Jesus reveals in his sharing the inseparable bound of love between himself and the Father, and of their love for humankind. Thus we see the fullness of God’s love and how God’s love is directed to our well-being. Jesus calls his disciples and us to walk in his way of love through obedience to the will of God to be the Body of Christ, present to bring love, peace and justice in our world.
Amidst existential challenges to our health, our sense of community, our ability to love one another without stigma and discrimination, we receive the Holy Spirit, as verse 26 spells out “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to remembrance all that I have said to you”. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Helper who brings us safely through the challenges and adversities we must face in this life. The Holy Spirit is also the Giver of life and the One who guides us in the way of truth. We can never stop learning because the Spirit leads us more and more into the knowledge of God’s love and truth. Peace includes everything which makes for our highest good. Trust in God, faith in his promises, and obedience to his word lead us to peace and safety in God’s presence. That is why a Christian need not fear or be troubled by anything and why verse 27 can be a lived experience “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”.
To think about: Are we allowing ourselves to come home, deep within our hearts, in the presence of the Holy Spirit to be guiding to still our hearts, to trust God’s love as source of life and calm our fears of rejection, abandonment and death? Will we take action, not in the automatic survival dance outside ourselves, but move within, come home, to rest, to love, be loved, finding peace and guidance to experience well-being amidst all challenges.
Written By: Rev Judith Kotze, Director, Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM)
Author: Kotze J (Rev)