Wednesday, November 18, 2015

To Christ Be The Glory

I am praying for them.  I am not praying for the whole world, but for those you have given to me, because they are yours.  Indeed, all I have is yours, and all you have is mine, and in them I have been glorified.  -- John 17:9-10

We are living in rough seas and threatening times.  The violent attacks on human life in Beirut, Paris, across Syria, and in so many other places around the world have jarred the safety and sensibilities of just about everyone.  I read this morning that the Dalai Lama has even said not to be praying for the world because the mess is not God's responsibility but humanity's and, as such, it is humanity's to fix.  On the heels of that this passage landed on my laptop.  

The airwaves and cyber-waves have been full of a great deal of fear-mongering, hand-wringing, and even some hate-speech.  Refugees fleeing for their lives have become suspected terrorists, wars on top of rumors of wars, and non-stop TV coverage of police manhunts have escalated to the surreal level of a James Bond movie.  A Christian superiority melded with patriotic flag waving is being used as noble grounds for attacking Muslims in some kind of hyped-up prelude to a modern day Crusade.   Followers of Jesus need to put their anxieties and politics on hold and do some praying.

This passage has a lot of Light to reflect into Christian souls searching for answers.  It begins in Jesus modeling for us that he is praying for us.  In this particular instance, he is not praying for the world but for just those of us who might call ourselves his disciples.  His prayers go out specifically to and for us who are walking The Way of Christ.  When it's put that way, we should know that we are always and safely in Jesus' constant thoughts and protection.  But we are not just Jesus' beloveds, we are with Jesus because we were first God's.  From God, through Christ, back into God's care we go.  Eternal safety confirmed and assured.  We need have no fear of whatever the world throws at us, we are secure in an Infinite and Eternal Love.

Everything Jesus has is God's, and everything God has is Jesus', but did you catch where that mutual stewardship leads?  This scripture says Jesus is glorified because of his relationship with us. Does this not then place a huge responsibility on our shoulders to speak and act in ways that really do glorify our Lord and Savior?  It adds a profound depth to the too often used cliche' of "What would Jesus do?"  If Jesus' followers are how he gets glorified, it is incumbent on us to be accurate loving reflections of Jesus in our world.  That is our mission.  That is our task.

1. How can you reflect Christ into the world through your interactions with others in person and online?
2. How much prayer time do you spend recharging your spirit by just basking silently in the light of God's and Jesus' love and respect for you?
3.  In what ways can you sense and remind yourself in the face of scary news that you are held in sacred safety eternally?

Help us surrender our fears to you, dearest Savior, and find peace and rest for our souls which we can then spread to others through our calm and gentle words and action.  Let all we do be glorious for your name's sake.  Amen.

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