Hello friends! I have an exciting announcement to share with you - you are officially at 100 days to go in our reading journey! Way to go everyone, this is a huge accomplishment. Today's reading isn't quite as exciting necessarily as it features the arrest and trial of Jesus but it does contain some beautiful words that are not found in the other gospels and includes a prayer from Jesus that I find really meaningful to all past, present, and future believers. With that said, let's get started!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about Jesus?
Why do I think John included the extra prayers and "meanings"?
What about this reading is meaningful to me? What does it inspire me to do as a result?
- Context -
The prayer of Jesus in chapter 17 follows the model of a traditional farewell in Biblical literature such as Moses farewell in Deuteronomy 31:30 - 32:47 but differs in that it is not a "death bed" prayer but rather one who is willingly laying down ones life and thus completing God's work. The second important part of this prayer is for Jesus to solidify to his followers that he is serving as intercessor for peoples prayers. This is one of the big debates among religious scholars on the legitimacy of inter-religious services and prayer vigils. Can a prayer be valid if it's prayed to the generic "God" or does it first need to go through an intercessory? For example, Jews loyally pray to God through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and Muslims pray to God through Muhammad while Christians of course pray to God through Jesus. The question that looms in the face of John 17 is whether or not Jews, Muslims, and Christians can pray together and their prayers be "heard" or "valid." It's also a good reminder for those of us who might be new or infrequent in our praying to be sure to conclude our prayers or begin our prayer by saying something to the effect of "Lord Jesus, <<prayer>> or <<prayer>> in the name of Lord Jesus we pray, amen." It might seem silly to have to pray a specific way, but Jesus prayed for his disciples to do so in this particular way.
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is hymn 265 in our hymnal - O Christ, Our Healer (note that only verses 1,2, and 5 are sung in this version.)
1 O Christ, the healer, we have come to pray for health, to plead for friends. How can we fail to be restored when reached by love that never ends?
2 From every ailment flesh endures our bodies clamor to be freed; yet in our hearts we would confess that wholeness is our deepest need.
3 How strong, O Lord, are our desires, how weak our knowledge of ourselves! Release in us those healing truths unconscious pride resists or shelves.
4 In conflicts that destroy our health we recognize the world's disease; our common life declares our ills. Is there no cure, O Christ, for these?
5 Grant that we all, made one in faith, in your community may find the wholeness that, enriching us, shall reach the whole of humankind.