THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – God’s invitation
God invites us to:
- To know God
- To bear God’s justice
- To enter God’s truth
- To enter God’s unity
The readings this week reveals the simple theme of invitation. In Acts, Paul and Silas are given a unique opportunity to invite a jailer into Christ’s life. In the Psalm, God’s glory and power are the context for an invitation to those who are ‘godly’ to find refuge in God.
What he is concerned about is that people should know about God’s grace and life which is available through Christ, and which is demonstrated by a community of love.
God’s invitation, in the end, is not a message or an institution. It is a relationship with God and with those who love God and know they are beloved of God. Perhaps the best way we can be a people of invitation is to stop speaking, “reaching out” or trying to be attractive, and to start simply loving God and each other – and anyone else who happens to enter our circle of awareness.
In Revelation the invitation to all who would ‘drink of the waters of life’ is proclaimed, along with the assurance of Christ’s return to love and welcome those who respond to the invitation.
In John Jesus prays for unity and love among believers so that others may see this, know the truth about Jesus, and be drawn (invited) into the life of Christ, and of the loving, beloved community of faith. It is appropriate that this theme should follow closely behind last week’s focus on hospitality, and on the celebration of the Ascension – which proclaimed both God’s divine reign, and God’s gracious immanence.
How have you been a witness to the resurrection?
Gospel: This is for the believers that the disciples will bring into the fold. Why is this important for Easter?
It reminds us of the importance of our witness and testimony!!
To what will we testify – what will continue to do to live the promise of the resurrection?
What promises that the resurrection how will it embody what kind of promises does it communicate that we want to live by and testify to.
Testify, our invitation to welcome people in??
These words of Jesus show that God has always had the whole world in mind when forming a people that reflect God’s promise.
Jesus prays for his disciples and for all who will come to believe in him, that they may be one, and that through their love and their ‘belovedness’ the world may be brought to knowledge of Jesus.
Jesus is praying for the one who believes, he prays for us.
The ongoing story of Jesus loving people and salvation is restoring the wholeness of humanity, individually and collectively.
Restoration is evident in our being known for loving one another – blessing, healing, miracle – reconciliation of the human with our creator God – one with – glory – is evident in us! The Community of everyone from around the world.
Jesus’ purpose for coming (John 1.18 – who makes God known) is so we might share the same divine love that the Father shares with Jesus and that Jesus shares with God. Leads us into this intimate relationship and experience it.
John’s Christology (ideas of Jesus) is about the universal sense of unity and wholeness and this idea of a union and oneness being where God is discovered, where God is found, where true communion happens with one another.
God is a God who is always drawings things in that are disparate and making them one/whole – inviting us in.
Frequently in the Gospels, we see Jesus teaching, traveling, and performing miracles. When he prays, he goes off by himself and we tend not to actually hear his prayers in the narrative. Here, we see Jesus petitioning God: please let your love be known to my disciples. By offering this prayer as a pattern we can imitate, Jesus shows us that we can and should ask God for help. He uses the phrase, “I desire,” to ask for what he wants.
What Jesus wants is for us to experience the closeness with God that he knows so deeply. He knows that human beings need more than anything to understand our dependence on God. When we lose sight of that, we forget ourselves. How do we connect to God and open our hearts? We need to realise that we are one with Jesus, with other people, and with God. With his prayer, Jesus gives us an insight that erases the perceived distance in today’s psalm. That is, while God is so expansive that we need figurative language to try to understand, at the same time, God is someone that Jesus knows intimately. Through the way he lives his life, he shows us that we, too, can abide in God.
How do you ask God for what you desire?
What does it look like to abide in God in today’s world?