April 1 | John 17:6-19
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by Pastor Jeff Morlock
There are moments in life that serve as a threshold to something new. These threshold moments often help us focus on how we see our lives, what’s really important, and how to invest our time. The threshold moment could be the birth of a baby, the death of a loved one, a divorce, or the beginning of a new career. But in each case, threshold moments reveal something. They bring clarity, if we let them.
In today’s reading, a threshold moment is looming closer for Jesus with each passing hour - namely, the cross. Bible teachers call today’s reading part of Jesus’ “Farewell Discourse.” Calvary is in view, and having prayed for himself, Jesus now prays for his disciples. This is not a simple prayer. If it seems rambling and bit confusing, that’s because Jesus is pouring out his heart to God, working through what has happened and what is about to happen.
There is a hint of grief in this prayer, and wrestling, too. But as the threshold of Golgotha looms nearer, Jesus’ priorities become crystal clear. Three things he asks of the father: to protect the unity of the disciples and keep them from division (v. 11), to “protect them from the evil one”
(v. 15 ), and to “sanctify them by the truth” (v. 17). Confident in the Father’s love and care, Jesus prays for the future of those he loves, and for the kingdom they will continue to proclaim.
Is there a threshold that you are about to cross? Or perhaps crossed recently? What emotions are you feeling about what may be on the other side, or about what you have already found there? Do you have a sense of gratitude, anxiety, peace, urgency? Whatever it is, you don't have to sort it out in isolation, but in community with sisters and brothers in Christ. You can sort it out in prayer to the Father, in the name of the Son who crossed the ultimate threshold of death for you, and who sits at the right hand of the father, continually praying for you. His good gifts have been purchased at great cost, and they are yours for the asking. Prayer: Lord, whatever thresholds I may need to cross today, and whatever thresholds may be in store tomorrow, empower me and all disciples to believe that Easter is on the other side. Amen.
Breath Prayer - Take 2-3 minutes today to pray a simple breath prayer. Get somewhere quiet and relaxing. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out fully. As you breathe in, ask God to fill you with His presence, grace, love, peace, etc. Consider using the list of spiritual fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. As you breathe out, offer to God the things you need Him to take from you – sin, doubt, shame, anxiety, fear, etc. Pray this way for just a few minutes, trusting God to work, and then begin reading today’s Scripture.