|Good morning everyone.|
It was Ascension Day on Thursday and today is known as the Sunday after Ascension Day. Our reading is part of Jesus’ great prayer to the Father in John’s Gospel. The prayer contains many rich themes, like truth: “Father, sanctify them by the truth” (John 17. 17).
In his sermon Jonathan reminds us that the theme of truth runs like a thread throughout John’s Gospel. It is there, for instance, in the Prologue “The word became flesh, full of grace and truth” (John 1. 14).
Another big theme in our Gospel reading today is unity. Jesus prays that his disciples “may be one” just as he and the Father are one (John 17. 11). And another theme is protection. Jesus prays to the Father “that you will protect them from the evil one” (John 17. 15).
So many rich themes in Jesus’s prayer for the disciples, his body in the world. Our prayer for the week takes up those three themes of truth and unity and protection.
“Father, sanctify them by the truth”… We pray that the Church will stand up for the truth where there is injustice.
“Holy Father, may they be one”… We pray that the Church will demonstrate the unity we have in Christ rather than division.
“Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name”… We pray that the Church will protect and offer sanctuary in God’s name to all who feel unsheltered and vulnerable.
As Christ’s body in the world may we this week stand up for the truth, demonstrate Christ’s unity, and offer protection to those who need it. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.
Virtual Service 16 May