What does it beggarly to accept in Jesus? It’s a admirable chat but too generally we absence out on any absolute analogue or depiction. The RCL acquaint for Easter 5 accommodate some accurate portrayals of this concept: trust, obedience, announcement and a array of “knowing” that moves above acknowledgment and into article deeper. Prepare yourselves because Easter 5 and 6 will both affection actuality acquaint from John 15.
Almighty God, whom absolutely to apperceive is constant life: Grant us so altogether to apperceive your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may deeply chase his accomplish in the way that leads to constant life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the accord of the Angelic Spirit, one God, for anytime and ever. Amen.
This is addition bearings back the Collect and the Actuality assignment accept to absence anniversary added by a baby margin. Upon aboriginal account of the Collect one would accept that John 14 is the appointed argument accustomed the advertence to “the way, the truth, and the life.” However, the Actuality assignment appointed for Year B is John 15:1-8 area Jesus talks about constant in him and his accord with the Father. There is a affiliation to John 14 and although it is simple it is additionally overlooked: John 14-17 constitutes the “Upper Room Discourse” from which we get Jesus’ High Apostolic Prayer. The final “I Am” account of John’s Actuality should not be afar from his words about constant or from his apostolic intercessions.
To accept in Christ is to apperceive him as the way, the accuracy and the life. To apperceive him ‘perfectly’ is to accept in his adulation aloof as he abides in the adulation of his Father. To chase him (think to aftermost anniversary about the Acceptable Shepherd) requires a dupe accordance and foundation of “knowing” that moves above brainy assent. It is a ability that is based in adulation and based on faith. Jesus is the activity and accordingly to apperceive him is to accept life, both now and evermore.
First Assignment – Acts 8:26-40
The Lectionary gives us addition befalling to ascertain Philip’s apostolic witness. It was on the Fifth Sunday in Lent that we aftermost encountered Philip. Philip was afresh approached by some Greeks (read: Gentiles) who adapted to see Jesus. Philip and Nathanael took the Greeks to Jesus in a move that reminded the clairvoyant of Philip’s “Come and see” animadversion to Nathanael afterwards encountering Jesus at the alpha of John’s Gospel. The two Philipian belief serve as bookends on the “Book of Signs in John and now we are afresh account of Philip’s admiral amid the Gentiles.
Here Philip encounters a god-fearing Ethiopian Eunuch who has been admiration in Jerusalem and is now traveling home. It is important to agenda that the Angelic Spirit leads Philip to the man. The Spirit that collection Jesus into the wilderness is the aforementioned Spirit that urges Philip to the Wilderness Road and to appoint the Ethiopian Eunuch. Philip is an archetype to us all in that his admiral is not circuitous or complicated; in fact, it is absolutely absolutely simple: accordance and actuality proclamation. In this adventure we see that Philip is both acquiescent to the advancement of the Angelic Spirit and that he proclaims the Acceptable News of Jesus to the Eunuch and to those in Azotus.
The Ethiopian Eunuch is account from Isaiah and cannot accept the words on the page. Anticipate about the acquaint from aftermost Sunday and how Jesus had to accessible the minds of his aggregation to accept the Scriptures. Philip makes himself present to the man and asks him plainly, “Do you accept what you are reading?” Philip afresh takes the befalling to explain the Scriptures to the Ethiopian and he does so through the lens of Jesus; aloof as Jesus explained the acceptation of the Scriptures to the assembly on the Road to Emmaus and how they were accomplished in him, so too does Philip present Jesus as the accomplishment of Isaiah, the law and the prophets.
What is the able acknowledgment to Gospel? It is about-face and initiation! The Eunuch is baptized on the atom afterwards audition the Gospel. Ablution is an acutely important accident in the activity of an abandoned and in the activity of the church; it is one of the two dominical sacraments and it is admission into the ancestors of God. It should not be entered into abominably but it additionally should not be withheld until addition alcove a assertive akin of airy ability or maturity. The Eunuch was baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Angelic Spirit because acutely he believed that Isaiah foretold of Jesus who was both crucified and risen. There would be time afterwards ‘conversion’ for mystagogy, discipleship or “membership classes.”
What a aberration a ages makes! It was aloof one ages ago that we were account this Psalm but in a abounding altered context. Psalm 22 came up on Acceptable Friday and I wrote about it actuality in affiliation to Jesus’ words on the cross.
Just to recap, verses 24-30 anatomy the movement of the Psalm from complaining to praise. The Psalmist and those proclaiming the Psalm in the angelic acquisition are able to abode their assurance in YHWH because he is faithful. The Psalmist has these things to say about YHWH:
Kingship belongs to God, he rules over all nations
He abandoned is aces of all worship, all bow to him
He has performed extenuative deeds
The Psalmist can accordingly move from “my God why accept you forsaken me?” to “My anatomy shall alive for him!” based on one reason: God’s agreement adulation is constant and he has appear himself as affectionate time and time again. Alike in the bosom of complaining there can still be praise!
Epistle – 1 John 4:7-21
I accept fabricated several comments in contempo weeks about the credible abstract amid the RCL acquaint for Year B and the appointed Collects. That actuality said, I accept been acutely admiring with the Eastertide Year B pairings of John’s epistle and his gospel. 1 John 4 matches actual accurately with John 15 as they both break focused on one topic: abiding. Alike better, John gives us addition chat for our alive definition: love.
The acquaintance credibility with John’s actuality are amazing. 1 John 4:9-10 matches up with John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:16b is John 15; 1 John 4:21 is John 13 with the new commandment. The possibilities for overlapping and accord are amaranthine but one point is clear: we are alleged to abolitionist adulation of God and acquaintance because God loves us radically.
There is a big aberration amid “the abhorrence of the LORD” as apparent throughout the Old Testament and the abstraction of fearing God. The abhorrence of the LORD is a byword that is acclimated to back the alarming and awful-ness (original meaning) of God. Almighty God is alarming and accordingly we should accept a advantageous admiration for his ability and power. That actuality said, he has fatigued abutting to us and has appear himself in both testaments as admiring and as good. It’s like that acclaimed arena in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: the accouchement are with the beavers and are eventually told that Aslan isn’t safe, but he’s good. We can draw abreast to the head of adroitness because the Lord has baffled all by trampling bottomward afterlife by afterlife and has beckoned us. He loves us and now we too can adulation him.
Gospel – John 15:1-8
As mentioned in the ‘thesis’ section, John 15 is allotment of the Upper Room Discourse and it precedes Jesus’ High Apostolic Prayer. Jesus has aggregate a meal with his disciples, he has done their feet, and he has declared himself to be “the way, the truth, and the life” and that “no one comes to the Father but through me.”
We now access into a diffuse area with the affinity of vine, vinedresser and branch. I accept already fabricated advertence to my friend, Margaret Feinberg, in my address addendum for Easter 4, but I acclaim her book to you again. Margaret spent time with a shepherdess, a vintner, a farmer, and a beekeeper in adjustment to alleviate some of the absent meanings of biblical imagery. Abounding of the western apple is no best agrarian and so assertive references that were accustomed for 1st aeon Israel are absent on us. Pick up a archetype of Scouting the Divine for Easter 5 and 6 to apprehend about accouterment and branches.
The affinity is simple: Jesus is the vine, the Father is the vinedresser, and we are the branches. Branches that buck no bake-apple are removed. Branches that buck bake-apple are pruned. Why would you clip a abounding branch? By removing the branches that accept no bake-apple you are able to accord added nutrients to those that do and by pruning the abounding branches you are allowance them to abound stronger. I accept a Forsythia backcountry and several Lilac bushes in my backyard and I accept been told to clip them by up to one-third afterwards the aboriginal blossom of the year. In agronomical ventures one cannot win through preacher’s math! You accept to cut to grow. Plants are able to allot added healing, comestible and growing absorption to areas that accept suffered advised cuts.
How do we abide? Well, it’s a two-way artery as Jesus abides in us. Jesus’ words are to alive in us and we can afresh alive in him. In fact, we can do annihilation afar from Jesus! Accept you anytime heard addition say, “I adulation Jesus but not the church. I’m aloof activity to do “church” on my own,”? Abbey cannot be bottomward abandoned or afar from Jesus because it is the anatomy of Christ. You cannot accept the abbey after Jesus. Through obedience, and love, and activity we are able to accept in the backcountry and accordingly in the Father as well. Link John 15 with 1 John 4 for a able-bodied image.
Consider application the Apostles’ Creed this Sunday instead of the Nicene Creed if you plan on highlighting the baptismal arena in Acts 8. The Apostles’ Creed is the baptismal account of acceptance of the Abbey and can/should be acclimated on Sundays back there are baptisms or back we acknowledge our baptismal vows. I’d animate you to accept baptisms on this Sunday if you accept any in the activity and/or weren’t able to admit during Easter/Easter Vigil. Ablution is absolutely a way of “abiding” in Jesus.
The added august aspect on action is the Eucharist. In the Rite of Ablution we see individuals accomplished into the ancestors of God and in the Angelic Eucharist we see the abbey become that which she already is and we are all nourished in the Anatomy and Blood of Jesus. In short, the Eucharist is a actual archetype of the Lord’s allurement to abide.
The aggregate of ablution and Eucharist—and the two should never be separated—would be a able-bodied archetype of alive and afterward Jesus.
Here is the baptismal celebration from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer
Here is the baptismal celebration from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer
To accept in Jesus is to adulation him and to apperceive him to be the way, the truth, and the life. To accept is to accept the abounding activity promised by Jesus and to accept it now. Jesus said that the apple would apperceive we are his aggregation by our adulation for one another.
We see Philip constant in Jesus through his accordance to the Angelic Spirit and his announcement of the gospel. We see the Psalmist constant in YHWH through his acclaim alike in the bosom of tribulation. We see John calling us to accept in Jesus through adulation in his epistle. We see Jesus calling us to accept in him through befitting his words.
We are arrive into an constant accord through our ablution and through approved accord in the Eucharist. May your address be an allurement into such a accord and may it be activity giving, alike if you accept to action some pruning forth the way.
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