Friday, May 19 2023
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Crown Him the Lord of life who triumphed o’er the grave,
(Hymn 494 Words: Matthew Bridges).
“It was my first Mother’s Day without my mom. So blessed and thankful that God chose this rock of the universe where I would be known and loved by such a strong and beautiful soul” (David Burns.) Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and I felt very blessed by the beautiful sermon given at our service by Deacon Claire, the wonderful music that we sang, and especially for the participation of our children and youth. It was one of those moments when time slows down and you feel the peace that passes all understanding. The children were singing and serving in many capacities and their moms were grinning from ear to ear.
Yet there was sadness in my heart for most of the day. Maybe I wasn’t expecting to feel like I did, but I spoke to several folks who were also feeling a little melancholy on this particular day. I sometimes feel the glory of God in our services at St. John’s, but that mountain top feeling subsides when I am back in the valley of life. Perhaps what makes me get through these days is knowing that Jesus overcame death on the cross and brought our humanity with him to heaven. In the pain of our loss, Jesus gives us the hope of glory.
In this week’s Gospel of John 17:1-11, Jesus is praying to God the Father. Jesus is finishing up his final discourse that his followers might understand what is going to unfold in the next three day when he dies on the cross and is resurrected on Easter Morning. This past Thursday, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension with Evensong. Jesus prays to God in heaven that the disciple’s might understand that it is going to be okay after he ascends and sits on the right hand of the Father in heaven. We get a chance to listen in with angels, archangels and all the company of heaven. Jesus first prays that the Father will bring to fulfillment everything that Jesus has done. Then he prays for the disciples and finally for all believers of all time. This passage is so deeply steeped in truth that it is almost beyond our capacity to comprehend. In fact the eleven disciples and the women will not understand what he is saying until the resurrection.
We are believers at St. John’s because we know that our redeemer abides in heaven and intercedes for us in our pain. As we learn to know Christ in our heart, we can share the love of Christ with others. I guess that is what my brother was saying on Mother’s Day. Not only was he grateful that Jesus triumphed over death on the cross for our sins, but that individuals can love one another with the same love that God has for us. What a blessing to have a mother that loved us in this manner. Yet even those who have dwelt in the pain of the valleys of this life can experience the love of God in Jesus Christ. So on this final Sunday of the Easter season let us commit ourselves to knowing the love of God in Jesus Christ and let us love our neighbors with that same love.
Crown Him the Lord of Heaven, enthroned in worlds above,
In Christ’s love,