Our scripture this week is John 17:1-11.
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
Jesus is ready for the next step of His work, but now He prays for the disciples, asking God to protect and guide them. He was fully aware of what He was called to do, but even so, Jesus prayed for us. He wanted to be sure we were on the right path as He prepared to leave us.
Jesus commends His followers to the Father, that His word has been accepted and understood. He gives them back to God as God gave them to Him. His love for us is so great that as He faces His own death, He prays for us.
May our love for Him be such, that even in times of stress and grief, we pray to the Father for each other, for that is His command to us – “Love one another” (John 13:34). The connection we have is our greatest gift. Nothing is as important to Him as our love for God and each other.
Loving Lord, we often fail to use the gifts we have been given and forget they are not really for us, but for Your creation. Help us to live out the blessing You give, the connection for which Jesus prayed. Amen.