A number of years ago I found myself coming to the “end of the road” in terms of a role I had loved and been blessed through for over nearly 12 years.
On top of a questioning of vocation and securing income, I also faced a potential life altering illness that then (and today, still) could severely disrupt everyday life. The initial “shock and awe” of the Consultant’s words still echo and I am deeply, deeply grateful for my health and and the National Health Service.
Mid-life crisis…possibly? There was a lot going on and the radar was pretty cluttered.
A few years later and I am still learning to appreciate the “now” that I experience today even amidst what might disrupt. And Christ’s teaching from John 15 v 9 to 17, this week’s Gospel reading resonates deeply.
Maybe you too?
The Gospel reading.
9-10 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.
The Message. (www.biblegateway.com)
Where to start working through the implications of Christ’s words as recorded by St. John in this week’s Gospel reading?
There is just so, so much to focus on…
“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me”.
“Make yourselves at home in my love”.
“”If you keep my commands, you’ll remain in my love”.
“Love one another the way I have loved you”.
“Put your life on the line for your friends”.
“You didn’t choose me, remember I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil”.
I guess that each of these statements by Christ deserves a book or two in their own right! But what “caught my eye” on reading was Christ saying to his followers…
“I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning”. (John 15 v 15. The Message).
Far be it for me to claim that I know, exactly, what the Trinity “is thinking or planning” and like the Apostle Paul, I “see through a glass darkley…” (1 Corinthians 13 v 12) but I do take huge comfort in the knowledge that in my everyday life, amidst worries and concerns (some outlined above), in seasons of plenty or scarcity, somehow, somehow, Christ invites me to be part of the enterprise that is serving and building his Kingdom. Not just a servant. A co-creator with Christ of his kingdom, today and tomorrow.
Humbling stuff to be honest.
It is in the “now” of our lives that Christ calls us “friends” (John 15 v 15).
Got all our “s**t” together,
Career doing quite nicely thanks very much,
Feeling upbeat about life in general
Well both mentally and physically,
Family relationships at ease,
Worries and stressors disappearing and causing a lot less trouble.
It’s now, today, this very minute, that Christ calls you and I to be his friend. And to serve his Kingdom with whatever we have got and even not got. To give our uniqueness.
Picture courtesy of @savbrown