Easter Week Four

& archive, Year B.

Prayer before reading:
Lord Jesus Christ,
You call us to come
To be with you,
And to bear the cost
Of giving up our false self.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear your voice
Help me to follow you in all of life,
And to walk in the joy and freedom of the resurrection
Amen

Season of Easter- Week Four

During these weeks between the resurrection, ascension and Pentecost, we are invited to settle in and listen deeply to Jesus. A profound change is about to come; Jesus will leave and return to Abba. No longer will he sitting with us at table and asking for a piece of fish, meeting us on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and inviting us to join him for breakfast, or showing up as we gather for prayer and conversation in the upper room in Jerusalem. The One these disciples and other followers have come to know and follow for the last three years will no longer be with them in body.

Jesus knows that he will be leaving, and so he speaks quietly and at length about listening, listening for his voice; about remembering what he has said, and allowing his words to find a dwelling place in our soul. He knows that in time the Holy Spirit will be given – the Spirit who will reveal the presence of Jesus in the spirit, and who would help us hear his guidance, and to know that the same Jesus who walked alongside us is now living within us and among us. We are to learn to listen for his presence and guidance.

As you read the passages in John’s gospel this week, reflect on how you hear Jesus’ words now in light of his death and resurrection. Also notice how Jesus speaks of himself as the shepherd and of his followers as sheep — sheep who hear his voice, recognize his voice, and follow him.

In what ways do you hear the voice of Jesus, and recognize his invitation and call on your life? And in what ways do you respond? Or resist?

The psalm for the week also invites us to come into the pasture of the good shepherd, to receive all that we need, to be rested, led beside still waters, and to receive restoration of soul. The invitation here is to come to the field and to notice Jesus waiting for you there. It is in these times of receiving rest, care, and restoration that we recognize ever more deeply who Jesus is and the guidance and care he gives. In a culture driven by anxiety, hurrying from one demand to another, always on the run, we need more than ever to turn off the fast lane and make our way to the field where rest, solitude, and care await us.

As we step aside and learn to listen, to be rested and restored, we begin to see the world’s rush for what it is. This does not mean that we stop working, or are not active. Rather, we enter into engagement and faithful service in the world, but now guided by the presence and voice of the indwelling Jesus, rather than being yanked around by the many other voices which claim our loyalty and attention. Then our work emerges from a deeper and more peaceful center, and becomes restful, playful, and fruitful – even as we may wrestle and wonder about the unknowns. But even then, there is always the great shepherd to guide us.

Prayer before reading:

Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us.
Help me to see as you see,
To recognize your voice
As I listen;
And to follow in your way –
To life.
Amen

Season of Easter: Week Four

  • 4/23 Monday: John 10:2-4,11-15
  • 4/24 Tuesday: John 10:16-18
  • 4/25 Wednesday: Psalm 23
  • 4/26 Thursday: Acts 4:5-12
  • 4/27 Friday: 1 John 3:16-24
  • 4/28 Saturday: John 10:2-4,11-15
  • 4/29 Sunday: John 10:16-18