There are two different sermons on this page
8/5/05 Year A Easter 7 : John 17:1-11
John 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. 6 "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one.
Ask children to come forward and ask them who they trust and rely on when things get difficult. At home, at school, and church.
The General Election has been one where trust has been at the forefront of campaigning.
The Tories have accused Tony Blair of being a liar. Saying he lied about the Iraq war so he cannot be trusted.
Labour have said you cannot trust the Tories because their figures for the economy don't add up.
In today's gospel Jesus is in a difficult position, he will be arrested soon, be unfairly tried and crucified. He shows that he trusts God the Father by praying. Not that God will help him to escape trouble, but that God's love may be shown through what would happen. Not just for himself, but also his followers.
Jesus prays that he will glorify God "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.
The word 'glorify' refers to the visible, self-disclosure of God. God will be glorified when Jesus hung, dying on a cross. Not what we associate with the word 'glory'. God shows himself on the cross. As a God of love who loved the world so much he gave his only son to die and pay the price of the sins of the world. A God who would conquer sin and death. A God who works in a different way to the world who expected the Messiah to come in earthly glory and military might.
Jesus shows his authority, given by God to grant eternal life. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
But what is 'eternal life'. If it is just everlasting life, a life filled with conflict, sickness, disappointment, frustration, busyness, mourning and death it isn't a very attractive proposition. Jesus defines eternal life. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Eternal life is not about quantity but quality. The quality of life. A life lived in a right relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus. This involves trusting in what Jesus has done for us on the cross. It involves trusting in the rule and power of God in a world that seems to be out of control.
One of the problems of elections is who to trust. Are you willing to trust Tony Blair to continue to be Prime Minister? ( This will have to be altered in the light of the result! )
Many of us will be familiar with this...
"To: Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcrafter's Carpenter Shop
From: Jordan Management Consultants"
Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.
The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully.
As part of our service, we make some general comments for your guidance, much as an auditor will include some general statements. This is given as a result of staff consultation, and comes without any additional fee.
It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew had been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.
One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.
We wish you every success in your new venture.
Jordan Management Consultants"
Jesus was to trust the government of the gospel and the early church to his disciples. You wouldn't have voted for them ! They would soon scatter and leave Jesus alone ( 16:31f ). Peter, their headstrong leader would cowardly deny Jesus three times ( 18:15-27 ).
But they were given to Jesus by God, a definition of a believer. They would learn to truly understand and trust Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus prays for them. He prays for their protection so they might be united. Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one.
The message of the gospel, that unites humans to God, would depend upon the unity of the first disciples. This unity is to reflect the unity of God the Father and God the Son. It is to be bound by the gift of love, given by God who is the source of all love.
We can rejoice in Knebworth that we are growing in our unity with the other churches. We are currently working on a draft Covenant which will move us forward in our commitment to one another. We are planning to bring this draft before all of the congregations this September. Please pray for this.
In 1996 there were 243 Christian denominations recorded in the UK Christian handbook, an increase of nearly threefold in 20 years. Their is talk of further splits in the church over practicing homosexuals. We live in a consumerist society where some Christians will be choosy over which service or church they will go to.
God calls us to trust in Him and in His purpose which is entrusted in the church. Jesus prayed for the unity of believers. We are to exhibit his love in the way that we love other believers.
John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Uncle Frank was apprehensive about his first airplane ride. His friends, eager to hear how it went, asked if he enjoyed the flight. "Well," commented Uncle Oscar, "it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but I'll tell you this. I never did put all my weight down!"
Are you like that today? Unwilling to put everything onto Jesus?
God calls us to trust in him when things are difficult and the way ahead seems without hope. He brings certain hope through the resurrection of Jesus and, by implication, our own resurrection. Like Jesus we are to trust in God. To relate to Him by prayer, individually and corporately. To trust in His rule. To love those he has chosen to tread the journey of faith alongside us.