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Easter 7



I am Tracey Skidmore and I am an LLM at St John’s Church Brockmoor in the Brierley Hill team.

The events of todays gospel reading take place just as Jesus is preparing to go across the Kidron Valley to the garden where he will be arrested. He has spent his final hours of freedom in this earthly life sharing a meal with his disciples and teaching. As the party prepares to disband, we are invited in to eavesdrop on Jesus’ private prayer.

He understands that this will be the final with those that have lived alongside him for the last three years before he is betrayed and so he prays:

‘Father the hour has come to glorify your son; ‘

Jesus knows that his time is almost at an end, yet this is not a prayer that asks for rescue or one made in fear and despair. Jesus knows that what lies ahead is all part of the plan and is going willingly towards it. Instead, his focus is on how his own glorification; that is death, resurrection and ascension will glorify God and fulfil the purpose for which he has been sent here.

The word glorify that we find here is repeated several times in the first six verses, this tells us that this glorification is important. If you look for the modern meaning it somehow seems to fall short, not quite express the enormity of what Jesus is referring to. While the Oxford English dictionary describes glorification as ‘acknowledging and revealing God by one’s actions’ The glorification that Jesus is referring to feels like something far greater, far more significant. This glorification is the glorification not only by the years of worship and teaching of others about God’s love for us and his plan for us, but by the completion of the task set before him, the humbling of himself, the laying down of his life in a brutal death to fulfil the prophesies and for the salvation of his people by atoning for their sins.

In return God will glorify Christ, showing the world for once and for all who Jesus Christ is when he raises him from the dead before taking him to be by his side, the conqueror of death, restored to his father for all eternity. And because of Christ’s life of teaching and healing, his death and resurrection; all of God’s people can experience that immortality.

What is about to take place is Jesus’ final act of obedience to God and God’s plan. There is a gratitude here, Jesus acknowledges that it was God who sent his own people to be disciples of Jesus and it is only through the authority of God that he is able to have authority over all; and those to whom he is offering eternal life, they have come to know God through Jesus, because he has been given that authority. These are the men and women that God sent to Jesus, to be his companions and students, Jesus knows that everyone and everything in all creation come from God and belong to God, the ordinary men and women that God sent to accompany Jesus as he spread the word, the disciples to whom Jesus will pass on his teachings and authority to go out into the world in his name spreading the news of the saviour far and wide long after Jesus himself has ascended.

Of course, we know that at this point in the story, the disciples have still not fully grasped who Jesus is, time and again they have been unable to see what is in fount of them, unable to grasp fully what has been told to them, yet despite this, despite the knowledge that they will all run in different directions at his darkest hour, abandon him to his fate. Jesus knows that he has taught them well that through their time together he has shown them who God is and who he is, Jesus knows that the final understanding will come and these are the ones who will go on, with the power of the holy spirit giving them the strength that they will need to Glorify God in all corners of the world, that these disciples will burn so brightly that they will go out and convert thousands more than he himself has been able to do in his short ministry. He knows that through them knowing him, others will come to know him and through him know God.

This is a story that began before time, as God the Father, in unity with the Son and the Holy Spirit brought about creation, the story that was passed from the Patriarchs and the Prophets. Through the hands of Christ himself to the disciples to the early church, and so on as each generation in turn learned about and glorified God, passing on the legacy that is older than time itself.

And so, I invite you to reflect on this, we the Church are the custodians of this legacy at this time, as such how will you play your part in ensuring that the next generation will come to know the love of God?

Page last updated: Friday 12th May 2023 9:28 AM
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