Today's Lectionary Text
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you.
It had been 10 months since we had to put our beloved Lab-Chow mix Yogi down because of cancer. My wife decided to surprise me on my birthday in late June with a puppy, little Suzy.
Suzy is a Lab mix — most likely with a hound. While Yogi had been a rescue animal as well, he was 4 years old when he came to live with us. That’s a nice, calm age. He was an adult, still full of life and agile enough to jump up on our bed, but calm.
Suzy is 4 months old. That means she sleeps 12 to 15 hours a day, but when she’s awake, she knows one gear: overdrive.
Dogs often are used to illustrate God’s love for us because of how fully devoted they become to their masters. But when I see Suzy, I think about proximity. Why? She always wants to be near us — sitting on our lap, running around on the floor next to us, waiting for one of us to get out of the shower. You get the idea. When we tried to get her to sleep that first night, we put her in her kennel in a different room. She whined and cried before finally giving up. The next night, we moved the kennel to our room, and she slept peacefully through the night.
I also think of proximity when I think of our relationship with God. Humankind started with great proximity — in the Garden of Eden, communing with the Creator. Then, sin crept into the picture, and it separated us from God (Genesis 3:23-24). That is, we were separated until Jesus came to reconcile us all to God, to draw us back to our Creator.
The scripture I chose says we “know him” because He lives in us. That’s a closeness we yearn to have. That’s proximity!
Studying our new puppy the past couple of weeks, I’ve come to recognize that her proximity to my wife and me brings her joy and peace. When she sits on our laps, she feels safe and loved.
May we be so close to God, through Christ, that we have that same feeling because we are close enough to be in the arms of God.
— Todd Seifert, director of communications
Prayer for Reflection
Gracious God, we keep pushing you away because we let sin overtake us. Help us to remember that you want us to be close to you. Help us to grasp the love and comfort that comes with drawing nearer and nearer to you through the acceptance of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color