Lenten Meditation Day 23,24, and 25 2017

Scripture

John 17:6-19

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[a] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth.

Prayer

Father, no one likes to be hated. Our desire to be approved and liked can cause us to move away from your name. We are kept in your name through Christ. This can bring discomfort and confrontation. Give us grace and comfort in this place. Give us love to those who hate us. Keep us in your name. Amen.

Meditation

This is a threefer. I have really been going back and forth with this idea of being hated by the world. After two days i really did not believe i could write anything. I am really not sure i can even as i sit down again at the computer to write this. Not of this world. Hated by the world. Not a great advertising slogan to bring people into your movement. I think the first things is to remind myself that being hated is not something to pursue. Which means i don’t have to be confrontational or against in my living. I am hated. Jesus states it as a fact. So, if i am doing things in a confrontational and against way in my relationships with people and they hate me or are angered by me this is not a victory. This is me being puffed up in some false righteousness. I am called to live at peace with those around me. If i am antagonizing them just to get a visible assurance of their hatred I am missing the point.

So if i am living at peace with people why do they hate me? Good questioned. Ephesians reminds us that Christ came to preach peace to those who were far off and those who were near. That on the cross He put to death the hostility that is between us (both us and God and us and each other) in order to build a new body; a place of worship. So hostility no longer exist in this body (ideally). The world is not present because it is still captured in the old way. The way of hostility. That is why they hate. They are not part of the new.

If we can remember our old self, the one that seems to be our shadow continually beckoning us back, you may recall that we lived in a stance of against. In order to feel purpose, secure, liked we play a comparison with those around us. We build enemies to give ourselves meaning. The way of hostility reigns but in Christ it has been put to death so we live in peace. We do not need to pursue the hatred, it is there. We pursue peace in order to invite those who are far off to the way of peace. Kindness leads to repentance.

Action

Love those around you. Accept the love that comes from those around you. Pursue peace with all people. Give mercy and grace. Know that you are hated but it is not the primary definition of a follower of Christ. Our identity rest in HIs love and the love we express to all.

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