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‘Living in the In-Between’

 

jesus praysJesus was the ultimate refugee, choosing to leave behind his home and his Father in glory in order to live without a home and to proclaim God’s Kingdom as a home for all, not just some (Matt 8:20). 

Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer (Jn 17) reveals a deep longing for the glory of home. Likewise in Acts (1: 6-14), Jesus invites his disciples to give up on their hope for an earthly kingdom as home, and to recognise that God’s kingdom is their home.

As Christ’s body on earth, the Church is called to be a home to the homeless and displaced – not just for those without a physical home, but for those without family, friends – without a spiritual or emotional home. Too often the Church creates refugees, turning away those who are different, who think and behave differently. Whether we recognise it or not, all people long for a place to find a home in God’s grace and God’s Kingdom. Christ welcomed all and we are thus called to open our doors and hearts to others. More than this, we are called to actively seek out those who long to know the promise of God’s Spirit. This calling has a huge impact on how we identify as Church. The Church has been described as the only society that exists for the benefit of those that are not its members.

How do we live into the reality that we are a refugee community – in the world yet not of the world? How do we use our ‘in-between’ times – the lulls and pauses in our busy lives – as we await our return to glory and to our eternal home?

Adapted from http://sacredise.com/lectionary/2014/05/easter-7a/

John17v01to11_2005

EASTER 7A

Acts 1: 6-14   Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven

6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

 

John 17:1-11  The High Priestly Prayer

171After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

6”I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.

11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.