May 24, 2017

That’s Life

May 24, 2017
That’s Life

Daily Reading
John 16:16-24
Psalm 93
This week’s sermon text: James 4:13-17

Field Notes
The disciples are concerned in two ways by what they hear Jesus saying. They do not understand the references to leaving and returning, and they surely must have felt fear, apprehension, and sadness at the thought of losing Jesus. They have already been warned of persecution (and I imagine they had experienced a good bit of it). Jesus has said that it is to their benefit that he leaves. Could you run that by me one more time? Jesus is describing what is coming immediately: his death and resurrection.

The disciples cannot understand any existence beyond the earth on which they are standing. We have the same problem. At least in hindsight our picture is a little clearer. We know that Jesus will rise from the dead, be seen by all of his disciples, and send the Holy Spirit to be the active Presence of God in their lives. This is the same place in which we stand today. The text is the before and we are the after.

Within the text we can see a living cycle, a part of the human condition: pain and sorrow, followed by waiting a little while, and then the emergence of joy and resurrection. And as we experience many small deaths, the daily resurrections and the new life coming to us, as we remain faithful in Christ, let us do as he instructed.

“This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!” (Verses 23-24 from The Message)

Questions for the Field

  • When have you experienced suffering that was later transformed into joy?
  • For what did you pray?
  • How did you experience the presence of God with you?

Family Field Talk
Think about a time in your life when a big change happened. What were the sorrows and the joys? How can accepting both enrich our lives in Christ?

Prayer Guide
Jesus, I want to lay my uncertainty and confusion at your feet. I want to trust that in your Presence I am safely held by the Father, companioned by Jesus, and guided by the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Amen.