Patrick’s prayer affirms an ever-present, dynamic God, similar to the dynamic relational God of process theology. God is everywhere, sustaining everything, guiding our steps, and giving us wisdom to face the challenges of each day. God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.
Jesus promised the disciples an advocate, a helper, a Spirit of Truth, and that Spirit has come.
Jesus prayed for his disciples. Knowing that they would face trials and persecution and that people make mistakes, that we are not saving ourselves, that we cannot save ourselves, Jesus prayed for his disciples. In the moments before Jesus goes out to be arrested, he prays for his disciples.
This passage can serve to remind us that whether home has been a refuge and comfort in the past year or a place we couldn’t wait to leave, we also have a home in the love of God. It’s a home we carry with us, like a tent, and it shows up when we remember God’s love for us and when we treat others as God’s beloved.
Jesus prunes our hearts, so that we may know his heart better, and through him share the freedom we have found in him.
We don’t necessarily see God’s justice enacted, but Jesus the good shepherd has lain down his life for us. He has promised to call us by name, and to care for us as a shepherd cares for sheep. Jesus loves us tenderly and will bear our burdens, carrying us over his shoulders or in the crook of his arm when we’re feeling pressed to the point of feeling crushed.
The key to this passage is the necessity of abiding in Jesus’ love. It’s working to respond to God’s grace by staying close to God. In the text today, John the Elder assures us that when we sin, Jesus makes provision.
Doubt is an ebb and flow with faith. Even in Thomas’ doubt, in our doubt, Jesus’ love doesn’t wax or wane. While our doubt and faith ebb and flow, Jesus’s love is constant for us.
As daffodils break from the ground in bloom and shots break the skin of our arms, death has been defeated.
“Death was angered when it met you in the pit.” It was angered because it was abolished. It was angered because it was mocked. It was angered because it was slain. It was angered because it was chained up. Death swallowed a body and choked on God.