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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | John 14:21–29          

They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. (NRSV)

When I was back in Indiana recently for my younger sister’s graduation from college, I looked at my mom and said, “Mom, she is the last Elskus to finish school! You and dad have done such a remarkable job; I wish I appreciated when I was younger all you did.” She said, “As you grow up, you just appreciate your parents more.” This is so true. The more life I experience, the more I am in awe of how they did it.

In this passage from John, Jesus is speaking to his disciples the night before he is crucified. He is getting ready to leave them but is assuring them “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” I often think of my own parents who many times had to let each of us go and make our own life decisions, some that worked out and some that didn’t. They cannot be with me every step of the way, yet I know they are there to help guide me if I ever need them, and I try my best to obey what they have taught me. I know that I am lucky, as this is not always the case, but it creates a very clear analogy in my mind of how God lets us go out, shows us the way—in this case bringing his Son to earth to teach people how to love—and sets us free as Jesus is doing with his disciples.

I sure hope that the knowledge I am given daily from the Holy Spirit will continue to “teach” me all things, but I need to take that leap and go forth with what I have been given.

Lord, as my parent, you teach me to obey. I know that I make mistakes daily, but I want to make you proud of me. Help to me see your way daily, and allow me to be reminded every day that no matter how short I fall, you will be “coming back for me.” Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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