That they may be with me where I am
When Moses asked God (at the burning bush – Ex 3:13-14) for his name, God said “I am”, the essence of life and being. And Jesus spelled out what that meant in his “I am” metaphors: the bread of life; the light of the world; the door of the sheep; the good shepherd; the resurrection and the life; the way, the truth and the life; and the true vine; and there may be more. (These are all in John’s Gospel, see: 6:35; 8:12; 10:7; 10:11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1)
So when he prayed for his disciples, that “they may be with me where I am”, he might have been referring to our eventual heavenly destination, but he might also have been praying that we would follow him in the here and now in his “I am” roles on earth. So we can pray for gifting and guiding that, in his name and by his Spirit, we may, for instance:
Feed and sustain others in their need, spiritually and materially
Shine the light of his truth and goodness, wherever we are
Lead others to faith in Jesus, as Saviour and as Lord
Be compassionately caring shepherds of those in our care
Trust him as sufficient in all things, in this life and the next
Follow him obediently as Lord of our lives, wherever he leads
Allow God to prune our fruitful branches, to bear even more fruit
As we find ways to be and to do any of these things, we shall be living out God’s answers to the high priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus himself.
A Prayer for each week in December
Week 1 Lord of all life, please lead us into your fullness, as you choose, and with the gifts your Holy Spirit bestows, for the common good and your glory. Amen.
Week 2 Lord of the abundant life, please guide us away from all limiting harm, and liberate us towards all the good you intend, that we may serve well. Amen.
Week 3 Lord of all being, please help us serve the needs of others, easing their problems and enriching their lives, perhaps in ways we can’t see or grasp. Amen.
Week 4 Lord of all hope in darkness promise in despair, please so fill us that we may radiate your being, and place us where we may serve you faithfully. Amen.
Of teacups and water meters
I’m quite good at facing life’s storms, until they actually happen! The latest was the water bill. It showed our usage was up when we were confidently expecting it to be less. Once I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but now they highlight such things, pointing to possible reasons, none of which applied except the possibility of a leak in the pipe on our side of the meter. Oh dear! Could we have a leak? How could we find out? And if we had, who could we get to fix it?
A day and a night of worry before sheltering sense came to our rescue. I looked at past bills to compare usage, and that revealed that our current bill was not unusually high after all, especially as we haven’t been away on holiday recently – so, no leak, much relief, calm restored, silly me! Oh, but I was thankful.
But can that really rather trivial storm in a water meter be applied to more important worries? I think so.
We live in a world of upsets. It just is. Jesus told us to expect them, even after we follow him (it may even get worse).
We have an enemy who will use any opportunity to unsettle us. It’s a form of temptation not to trust Jesus.
Our Lord is Lord of all. No storm is beyond his power to calm, and he provides a way out of every temptation (Mt 8:24ff; 1 Cor 10:13).
And when calm is restored, grateful praise is our proper response.