|Pentecost 15, Year B||September 6, 2015||Proper 18, Year B||Isaiah 35:4-7a, Ps 146, James 2:1-17, Mark 7:24-37|
|Pentecost 12, Year B, Jonathan Myrick Daniels Commemoration||August 16, 2015||Pentecost 12, Proper 15||Proverbs 4:20-27, Psalm 85:7-13, Galatians 3:22-28, Luke 1:46-55|
|Pentecost 11, Year B||August 9, 2015||Proper 14, Year B||Ephesians 4:25-5:2|
|Pentecost 10, Year B||August 2, 2015||Proper 13, Year B||Ephesians 4:-16, John 6:24-35|
|Pentecost 8, Year B||July 19, 2015||Proper 11, Year B||Psalm 23, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56|
|Pentecost 7, Year B||July 12, 2015||Pentecost 7, Year B||Ephesians 1:3-14|
|Pentecost 6, Year B||July 5, 2015||Proper 9, Year B||Ezekiel 2:1-5, 2 Corinthians 13:3-10, Mark 6:1-13|
|Pentecost 5, Year B||June 28, 2015||Proper 8, Year B||Mark 5:21-43, Psalm 30|
|Pentecost 4, Year B||June 21, 2015||Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 7, Year B||2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41|
|Pentecost 3, Year B||June 14, 2015||The Third Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 6||2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17; Mark 4:26-34|
|Pentecost 2, Year B||June 7, 2015||The Second Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 5||Genesis 3:8-15, Ps 130, 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1, Mark 3:20-35|
|Pentecost 1, Year B -Trinity Sunday||May 31, 2015||Pentecost 1, Year B, Trinity Sunday||Isaiah 6:1-8,Psalm 29,Romans 8:12-17,John 3:1-17|
|➤Easter 7, Year B||May 17, 2015||Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B||John 17:6-19|
|Easter 6, Rogation Sunday, Year B||May 10, 2015||Sixth Sunday of Easter, Rogation Sunday||Deuteronomy 11:10-15, Mark 4:26-32|
|Easter 4, Year B||April 26, 2015||Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B||I John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18|
Easter 7, Year B
Sermon Date:May 17, 2015
Scripture: John 17:6-19
Liturgy Calendar: Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B
""Last Supper"- Simon Ushakov (1685)
As I get older, one of the things I think about now is my own death.
Will I die suddenly, or have some lingering illness? Will I live a lot longer, or is my time here almost at an end?
And what would I say to the people that I love the most in the world if I actually had a chance to share some last words with them?
What would my final words be?
Would I be funny like Oscar Wilde? “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do…” Or like Lady Nancy Astor, witty and profound when she woke briefly and found her family gathered around. “Am I dying, or is this my birthday?”
Would I be full of regret like Leonardo da Vinci? “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” Or in denial like H. G. Wells—“Go away. I’m alright.”
Maybe I’d be curious, like Henry Ward Beecher. “Now comes the mystery.”
Maybe I’d be like Andrew Jackson and try to comfort those around me. “O do not cry—be good children and we will all meet in heaven.”
Maybe I’d try to express my the deepness of my love like James K. Polk did as he said goodbye to his wife—“I love you, Sarah. For all eternity, I love you.”
Maybe I’d imagine everyone still gathered around me on the other side. Stonewall Jackson said, “Let us cross over the river and sit in the shade of the trees.”
Today’s gospel is a deathbed scene of sorts.
The disciples and Jesus have gathered in an upper room.
Jesus has washed their feet. They share one last meal together, and then, still gathered around the table, they have one last deep, loving, mysterious, and in many ways worrisome conversation.
Worrisome, because Jesus ends this conversation with the comment that the disciples would be scattered, and they would leave Jesus alone. But Jesus will never really be alone because his Father is with him. He wants the disciples to know this—that his Father will never, ever desert him.
And then Jesus prays—and this prayer contains the last words that his disciples will hear spoken in their midst before Jesus is lifted up on the cross to die the following day. This is the prayer that contains Jesus’ deepest desires for them.
And just like Jesus—his deep love for the disciples is evident in these words in which he asks for them.
“Protect them in your name. Gather them into You, so that they may become one with you.”
“Remove their anxiety about the future and give them the fullness of your joy.”
“I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the evil one.”
In fact, far from asking God to take the disciples out of the world, Jesus is now sending the disciples out into the world to make God known. And the only way that they can do that is to live holy lives.
So Jesus prays “Make them holy, so that they can live out the truth of who I am.”
And there’s something else that Jesus asks, the last and most important thing that he asks on behalf of the disciples.
“I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Here are the last words in summary– “Gather them in and make them one with you. Protect them. Take away their anxiety and give them your joy. Make them holy and send them out into the world so that the whole world can come to know who I am.”
“Fill them with your love.”
So here we are.
In this year of 2015, out of all the people in the world, we are the disciples that God has drawn here together.
And even now, even though all this time has passed and we have heard this story of Jesus and his love for us over and over, we are still scared. We still need protection. We are still hungry. We still need love. And we still hesitate to step out into our mission to be God’s love in this world.
So our risen Lord who has ascended into heaven and who sits next to God is still with us.
Jesus will never, ever desert us.
The prayers that Jesus prays for us are rivers of prayer that never dry up or stop flowing. Jesus prays for us and will continue to pray for us, his disciples, throughout eternity.
God has drawn us here today in order to bless us.
Claim the prayer that you need most as you listen one more time to these blessings that Jesus continues ask for in prayer for you, and for me.
Resting in God’s loving presence.
A mission that carries the fullness of God’s love into the world.