Fairmeadow Community Church of The Nazarene
May 22, 2022
  • John 14:23–31 NRSV
    23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.

    Life Happens When You Least Expect It

    No matter how much we want to know the future it eludes us. No matter how much we want to control our lives and circumstances, we can’t. Many refuse to accept this and they lead very frustrating and disappointment-filled lives. So what’s the alternative? Although we can’t know the future, maybe we are not clueless about what to do. Maybe it isn’t about being in control, but being ready somehow.

    How Can We Be Ready?

    Maybe it’s easier to think about what it’s like to not be ready. It was 7:15am and I was glad I had made it on time to early bird gym class. I was a sophomore or junior in high school, I think. We were jogging laps around the basketball court and my friend Eric was next to me. He said, “is your speech ready?” I said, “I’m making good progress on my research paper, what speech are you talking about?” “The speech we have to give in 45min based on what we have learned so far in our research! He said I realized you were gone and may not have known she said we had to do this today.” To say that my heart rate increased would be an understatement. I was not prepared for this speech. I had not given many speeches in my life and like most people was deathly afraid of public speaking. Well God bless my friend Eric for giving me a heads up. I was in gym class but I had 45min to try to form some sort of speech in my head. Still, to not be ready is a terrifying thing.
    John 14:25 NRSV
    25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you.
    John 14:29 NRSV
    29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.
    Being ready in our spiritual journey is just as important. We can pay attention to the words of Scripture, especially the words of Jesus. Jesus wants us to be encouraged and ready for the challenges and changes of life.
    He told the disciples I’m telling you this in these moments when we are together. So you can process it here in my presence and take hold of it as truth in your life. He adds: I’m telling you this before it happens so that when it happens you may believe.
    We have a choice how we respond. The right choice is to choose to believe.
    Now Jesus was telling the disciples this before a massive transition. Being with them as a human being vs the Holy Spirit working deeply in their lives. The Holy Spirit will be better but change can be stressful. But being able to see it as a promise fulfilled makes it so much easier. But it will still be an important choice to make. Because it’s easy to hit the freak out button. If we forget to have faith we can be overcome with fear. But if we have time to prepare some things can be so much better. We make the choice to see it as part of God’s unfolding plan in our lives. So we look expectantly for God being at work. We can trust. We can believe.

    Between the ascension and pentecost

    The ascension is about Jesus leaving the normal human experience. He was already resurrected from the dead. He already had a transformed body. Now he was planning to ascend back to heaven. For God as spirit this is probably not a big deal. But for Jesus the forever God-Man this was amazing. Possibly inter-dimensional stuff! I have no idea if there are multi-verses like on Spiderman or Dr. Strange. But if there are, Jesus is Lord of every dimension of creation. And I know this: somehow Jesus’ resurrected and transformed body, still a special human body bearing the scars of the crucifixion, ascended into heaven as it exists now. Is heaven a different dimension? I don’t know. But I know Jesus went there and one day he’s coming back and he’s bringing the heavenly city with him! Amen? I know this much is true.
    Then came a time of searching and waiting. He promised the holy spirit would come...
    John 14:26 NRSV
    26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
    John 14:28 NRSV
    28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.
    There would be a gap but that gap didn’t have to be meaningless and full of stress. That gap could be seen as the overlap between the incarnation and the age of the Spirit. So they had the opportunity to wait with purpose. To look with purpose for the Spirit. They could believe if they would. Jesus told them before it happened.

    Between Gym Class and English 10

    Well remember me back in gym class? As I began to think about it I had done a lot of research. I was beginning to know and care about the topic. It was about the Salt II nuclear treaties between the US and Soviets. The more I forgot about the stress I was able to gather my thoughts get a sense a brief speech in my head. I was feeling good. So thankful for my friend Eric letting me know ahead of time. I made my way to the classroom. We were to present in groups. I noticed everyone else had note cards. I don’t remember Eric mentioning that, lol. Thankfully, I was trying to do research whenever I could so I was carrying all my 3x5 note cards with me in my backpack at all times. I grabbed a handful and hoped some of them would be helpful as I talked.
    I stood up and to my amazement meaningful words came out of my mouth. I looked down at my notecards and switched from one to the other but almost every single one I looked at was not helpful for what I was wanting to say. I just kept talking and would flip to the next card when that thought ended. Another buddy Todd was next to me waiting to present his paper. He looked at my notecard and realized it had nothing to do with what I was saying at that moment and he busted up laughing and almost tipped his chair over. But I just kept going. The teacher was nodding approvingly and eventually I was done. I had gotten through it and the world did not end.
    I got my grade and she gave me an A-. I was like whew, I’ll take it. But I had to smile when I saw the reason that she had taken off points for the A-. She said I was a bit too dependent on my notes, lol! I started to go explain how that was impossible when something told me, nope, don’t be stupid. My friend Todd laughed even harder when I showed him why she took points off. Looking back I think God was just showing off a little. Getting me ready to trust that I could speak and have something to say. If I hadn’t done the research I don’t think I could have counted on the help. Someone nudged Eric to ask me just in time. Did God know I was going to be speaking sometimes on short notice for the rest of my life? I’ll let you decide. I didn’t know all that yet. I couldn’t have imagined it. But I knew what I needed to know for that day.
    John 14:27 NRSV
    27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
    So how do you do when turbulence hits? Have a little heart trouble? Well sometimes our physical blood pumping hearts need a little attention. But we can make it a lot easier on our ticker when we trust our maker. Rest assured stuff will happen. Unexpected inconvenient stuff. But hear the words of Jesus: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Don’t let them be afraid. He’s got us. So hold on to Him. Live ready.
    We can prepare with familiar quiet moments in the presence of Jesus in the Word and in prayer. Learn the things that Jesus has promised us and talk to God about your life and listen to guiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Learn all you can from the Word. Get plugged in to Sunday School and a small group. Do ministry in your neighborhood. Serve others. Remember the lessons learned and put them into practice. Jesus gives us peace. When we spend time with him living the life he lived we get his peace.
    John 14:30–31 NRSV
    30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.
    When our spiritual hearts get troubled it’s time to lean on what Jesus has done for us and told us. It’s a lot easier when we’ve been spending time with him regularly and living the life he lived. Let’s do what the Father has commanded so that the world may know that we and Jesus love the Father.
    In the words of Jesus,

    Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way...

      • John 14:23–31NIV2011

      • John 14:25NIV2011

      • John 14:29NIV2011

      • John 14:26NIV2011

      • John 14:28NIV2011

      • John 14:27NIV2011

      • John 14:30–31NIV2011

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