"Yet a little while and the world will see me no more; but you shall see me because I live; because I live, you shall live also." - Jesus (John 14:19-21)
Apart from the outline on my calendar - "write column, pack for tomorrow's flight, complete prep for teaching at retreat, run-off message for Sunday morning, line-up interviews for next week..." - I don't know exactly what will happen over the next 24 hours or so. There are so many variables interfacing with the stuff I intend to do, and any number of things can and will happen to confound my plans.
But, as he talks with his friends around the table, Jesus knows. Jesus knows exactly what is coming at him in the immediate future, and the Master reveals tremendous strength and honest bravery as he understands the inevitability of torture and death. In his complete humanity, both at odds with and beautifully complimentary to his uncompromised deity, Christ moves toward all the horror that the ensuing day and a half has in store.
In today's verse from John's account of the Last Supper, Jesus speaks plainly and eloquently about the mystery of God's grace as he draws logical conclusions regarding our relationship to the Father based in his (the Son) relationship to us.
I remember the way I was received into Rebekah's family. Her mother loved me instantly and without reserve - simply because she loved Rebekah and Rebekah loves me. So it is with God. We love Jesus; Jesus loved us enough to die for us; God loves the Son; and we are all adopted into this family by virtue of Christ's great love for us. God the Father accepts and cherishes me - Derek Maul - not on my merit, but because Jesus died for me, loves me, and presents me as his very own brother at God's table of communion.
Not only that, but Christ points out how we're going to receive fullness of life! "The life that I enjoy," he explains, "in equal measure. Because I live, you are going to live too!"
Our status as the brothers and the sisters of Jesus means that we share in his life, his vitality, his deep and larger-than-life aliveness. The world may not see Jesus, the world may believe Christ to be defeated and defunct... but WE KNOW HIM, and we know him to be alive and vibrant and real.
Then, and here's the kicker, the world gets the opportunity to see - first hand - the evidence of the resurrection in us, his body, the church.
PRAYER: Live in us, Lord; live through us, Jesus; let us live more completely in your name. Amen