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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, May 11, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  John 14:1–17

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, 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, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? 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 say to you I do not speak on my own, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, but if you do not, then believe because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

“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 forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him because he abides with you, and he will be in you. (NRSV)

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” What a hard concept that is to live out—for the apostles and for me. Recently when a friend asked our book club where we find hope, I struggled to answer as the state of the world increasingly feels hopeless to me.

Perhaps that’s why my initial reading of these verses had me identifying with Thomas and Philip as they try to make sense of what Jesus is telling them before their world gets turned on its head. Jesus tells his followers that he will prepare a place for them in his Father’s house and that they know the way to where he is going. After that cryptic opening, I’m not surprised that Thomas points out that the way is not explicitly clear to them or that Philip asks a clarifying question when Jesus responds that he is the way to the Father and that “if you know me, you will know my Father,” since the concept of the Trinity is a bit complicated.

However, there is a sense of calm that comes to me as I read the words Jesus speaks about the Advocate. Going about life alone while trying to live out Jesus’ commandments to love seems daunting. Perhaps my focus should not only be on hope but also on love. Life is not lived in isolation: when it seems to be too much, I can remember what can be accomplished when we put love into action. It is then when I find it much easier to find hope and let my heart not be troubled.

Holy Trinity, when my heart is troubled and hope feels hard to find, may I remember that we abide in one another and that gives us the strength to love and to hope. Amen.    

Written by Katrina Buchanan, Editorial Assistant

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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