A Job To Do

9th May 2024

The days are getting longer and as the prospect of warm weather draws closer, I expect many of us are looking forward to getting away to enjoy the sun somewhere fun or relaxing. Karen and I recently spent a few sunny (though cold) days in Madrid visiting our daughter. Before we went away, we had to think about the things we were leaving behind and arrange for them to be properly looked after. When we go away nowadays, we don’t need to cancel the paper deliveries or put a note out for the milkman (times have changed!) but we do need to ask someone to feed and keep an eye on our cats. For our peace of mind, we place the things that are precious to us into the hands of someone we trust before we go away. Of course, many of us must also make arrangements in the workplace before we spend time away, particularly if we have management roles. We want things to keep running smoothly in our absence. The work must go on.

On the Sundays between Easter and Pentecost we read selected passages from the gospel of John, in which Jesus prepares his disciples for his own time away. He knows that after he has come through his death on the cross and been raised again to life, he will ascend to heaven to be with his Father. He will no longer be physically present with his disciples, which he understands will be troubling for them. He knows that his disciples will face many dangers during his absence, so he takes time to teach them how they are to live in this situation, and he reassures them that he has arrangements in place to keep them safe. In our gospel reading this Sunday (see below), Jesus finalises these arrangements, placing his first disciples and us into the care of someone he trusts implicitly, his heavenly Father.

Why does Jesus do this? Because his work must go on while he is away! Jesus came into world, which God loves, to save sinners. He won the decisive victory over sin and death on the cross, but his mission to rescue sinners is ongoing and continues through us, his disciples. We have a job to do.

Join us this Sunday, when we will look into the beautiful prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples and think about how the Father cares for us as we joyfully continue Jesus’ mission.

Matthew Briggs