Today's Lectionary Text
I 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. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And 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. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.
This passage is the mid-section of the last prayer that Jesus prays with his disciples before his crucifixion. It is often referred to as the High Priestly Prayer because Jesus is making the final dedication of himself as the sacrifice for the world’s sin and interceding with his Father on behalf of his disciples and all who will believe in him. Jesus is praying for his mission and for those who will continue on with this mission after he has returned to heaven.
To sanctify something is to set it apart for a holy or divine purpose. Even as Jesus is sanctifying himself as the ultimate sacrifice for sin, he was praying for our sanctification as his witnesses in the world. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John1:1, 14) and he is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). To be sanctified in the Truth, in God’s Word, is to allow oneself to be immersed in the very being of Jesus himself. It means allowing ourselves to be made one with one another through the power of the Holy Spirit. The only way that we can have Christ’s joy made full in ourselves is if we ourselves are filled with Christ.
The only way we can be filled with Christ is if we allow his Spirit to guide us through fellowship with our sisters and brothers, through prayer and worship and bible study and by living out his gospel in the world. Then and only then will we will experience Jesus’ joy made full in ourselves.
-Rev. Lane Bailey, retired
Thought for the Day
I have been set apart for a holy purpose.
*used with permission from Wellsville and Clearfield, KS UMC's Lenten devotional 2013
Prayer for Reflection
God of Holiness, may your Son’s prayer be realized in me. Amen.
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