Saturday 20 September, 2014
APPLES FOR EATINGWhoever has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.(vs 21)
Words sometimes fail me. What is the Holy Spirit? What does it look like? What does it do? I have no idea what the Holy Spirit looks like but I do believe in it and have felt it.
The disciples are full of fear. Jesus has told them he will soon be leaving them (John 13:33). He has been with them from the beginning of their time together and they cannot imagine life without him. (We know the feeling. When someone or something we have relied on is suddenly no longer there, one can feel very exposed, frightened and vulnerable.) Jesus is suddenly speaking in riddles; suddenly not making sense with all this talk about a Spirit of truth that lives with them but that cannot be seen – that they ‘know’ but the world doesn’t ... He will go from them but then will come back to them .... It is all very confusing! However, throughout his ministry Jesus has been preparing the disciples for this moment. They are the soil he has nurtured and prepared; he has sown the seeds of the gospel within them and they have taken root and grown. Now the disciples have matured and it is their turn to go out, prepare new ground, and sow seeds so others can continue the mission of spreading the good news.
A man called Joseph Smith wrote a carol called ‘Jesus Christ the Apple Tree’. What a wonderful illustration there is in this title – from Adam to Jesus to us. Friends, whoever you are, wherever you are, we have gardening to do: ’Come now; let us leave’(John 14:31).
Prayer † Lord, we thank you for the past week, ask you to forgive any blunders we have made and, in your own way and time, help them to be turned around so good things may come from them. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.