John 14, 15-17
Something to read
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
We learn here that it is love that leads us to obey God – an intimate relationship, not a set of doctrines or learned behaviours.
In this part of John’s gospel, Jesus talks at length about how the intimacy that exists between himself, his father and the Advocate (Holy Spirit of God) is being extended to include us, his followers. We are becoming part of the circle.
Despite this breathtaking opportunity, we still find it easier to seek answers than intimacy. Easier to do something we can control, like go to church or commit to moral behaviour, than to work on this ‘supernatural’ relationship that eludes our control.
Maybe that’s why we haven’t always done very well at following the commands of God - commands that could make our world a better place. Because we haven’t got close enough to ‘know’ the spirit that abides with us.
Something to do
How many people outside your immediate family know you intimately?
We can get to know God by being with others. Think of a friendship or new acquaintance you could invest in. A person or group that might have something to teach you. Something more than just social entertainment; more than a functional, office or work relationship. A relationship where a healthy intimacy might develop, one which reveals God to you - and therefore his commands.
Make an arrangement to see or speak to that person this week.
Something to pray
Thank you, Father, for being a God of relationships. A God to whom we can be child, friend, spouse and sibling.
Teach us to accept that scary intimacy; to be unafraid of getting to know you. Teach us to accept our companions and to practice intimacy with them as well. Together, may we discern the commands you have given us to usher in your kingdom. Amen.
Today’s contributor is Anna Potts, formerly Christian Aid’s Regional Co-ordinator for Wiltshire