Daily Devotion 24 August 2020
John 15: 9-12 ‘The Love Command’
9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12 ’This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Have you been bombarded with spam emails, junk mail and unwanted phone calls? Scams seem to be everywhere! They may tell us there’s a new car waiting to be delivered, a free holiday in Florida, or £2,000 just awaiting our call to claim. Great news! By the way, first of all please send us your bank details – there’s the rub!! Good news like that both disappoints and undermines our hopes and trust in unfulfilled promises.
Jesus promised those who followed him a very different way of life if they placed their trust in him, obeyed his commands to care as much for friend and stranger as for themselves. He promised them that his heavenly Father would guide and support them as they walked his way of compassion. He promised them eternal life; life in all its fullness as God’s love and peace flooded their lives. Too good to be true? They followed Jesus in his ministry, some impetuously, some hesitantly, believing and trusting that he would keep his promise. Three short years later, Jesus was arrested, led away on trumped-up charges laid against him by those who wanted rid of him. Their friend and leader was subjected to a mockery of a trial with a verdict of guilty, and a sentence of death awarded. Where now his promises of eternal life, peace and joy? His enemies had extinguished that bright flame as he hung helpless on a Roman cross. Hopes and dreams of God’s kingdom established on earth died. His promises had surely been too good to be true, dying with his execution.
But God his Father was ‘standing within the shadow, keeping watch above his own’. Easter morning revealed an empty tomb, a risen Lord who walked and talked again with them. Their reactions varied. They were astonished, doubtful, amazed, incredulous in turn as they realised it was their friend Jesus – still with them as he gently showed them how they were to live without his physical presence. They were to experience him in another dimension as his spirit invaded their lives, sending them out to share the good news of God’s kingdom: peace and joy and true fulfilment.
Still Jesus lives – and promises all who will accept him into their lives that joy, peace and abundant living for this world, and unbroken by death. Available for all who will accept his promise, as real today as two thousand years ago, he calls each one of us to accept and follow him.
God our Father, we would be Christ’s disciples in today’s world. We ask you to help us be
faithful followers and witnesses by both our words and deeds. We pray for the coming of your kingdom where injustices, terror and sickness are no more; where love reigns supreme and all may find their home in you, living, loving Lord of all. Amen.
Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Hazel Blake.
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