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Faith Daily | 13 May 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 510


O God,

whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people:

help us when we hear his voice

to know him who calls us each by name,

and to follow where he leads;

who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen


GOSPEL for the Day: John 14: 1-6


‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going.’5Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Peter Galbraith


This is one of the most quoted passages in the whole of the Bible, and no wonder. There are two punch lines – in verse 3 and verse 6 which contain answers to burning questions raised by the disciples.


The disciples had begun to feel forlorn, beset by great uncertainty about what was taking place around them, and in particular the message that Jesus gave that he would be leaving them. Jesus sensing this, gave them total assurance culminating in verse 3.


“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am there you may be also”.


This is the assurance at the heart of Christ’s promise of eternal life. Greek notions of the hereafter envisaged an immortal soul bereft of substance, leaving behind its earthly connection. At times aspects of this thinking has infiltrated Christian thought such that the place being prepared envisions a separation between earth and heaven. The message of Jesus is much more than that.


He is foreshadowing a future for his saints regenerated with resurrection bodies made possible by his own sacrifice. The Apostle Paul sets it all out in his wonderful resurrection chapter (1 Corinthians 15) where he first explains that without the death and resurrection of Jesus there is nothing worth believing in; and then goes on to explain (from verse 35) how this foreshadows the kind of resurrection body which His followers will receive. Elsewhere Paul links this great theme with verse 3 of today’s passage, by linking the resurrection and communion of saints with the coming again of Jesus to earth as set out for example in 1 Thessalonians 4 (from verse 13). The wonderful message is that Jesus is coming for his redeemed, just as we read in verse 3 above, at a time of God’s choosing when earth and heaven will become one for Eternity under His Kingship. As the Apostle's Creed affirms “I believe in… the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting”. Thanks be to God.


FINAL PRAYER I found this poem by Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, and thought appropriate for Peter and his mathematical gifts.

Bach for the Cello

By mathematics we shall come to heaven.

This page the door of God’s academy

for the geometer.

Where the pale lines involve a continent,

transcribe the countryside of formal light,

kindle with friction.

Passion will scorch deep in these sharp canals:

under the level moon, desire runs fast,

the flesh aches on its string,

without consummation.

Without loss.

Amen.

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