“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” - John 14:27
Our worship services during Lent will be about the words Jesus said to his disciples on the eve of his Crucifixion. We will read selected passages from John 14-17. Normally, these passages are read after Easter, but in the Gospel of John, Jesus says all of these things to his disciples during the Last Supper, before his Crucifixion. He is at his most pastoral in these chapters. As we study these passages during Lent, I encourage you to notice that Jesus says these things to his disciples to comfort them as they face uncertainty and difficult times ahead.
What kinds of things does Jesus say to comfort his disciples as they face uncertainty and difficult times? You heard from Edythe on Sunday that Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit make a home with us (John 14: 1-11, 15-18, 23, 25-27). During difficult times God is with us. In the coming weeks, we will hear Jesus talk about relying on him completely (John 15:1-8), loving one another (John 15:9-17), encouraging us that sorrow will turn into joy (John 16:19-24), and admonishing us to be united (John 17:11b, 20-26).
We have been living through difficult times during this Pandemic. May the pastoral words of Jesus in John 14-17 be a comfort and encouragement for you, just as they were for his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion. May the peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
Grace and peace,