Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:1-27
I love this part of the Bible. It’s called Jesus’ Final Discourse, because he and the disciples have eaten their last supper together and Judas has gone off to plan his betrayal. Soon Jesus and his friends will make their way to the Mount of Olives, where the soldiers and officers will arrest him. The setting and timing makes Jesus’ words all the more important.
The disciples have just learned that Jesus is going to die, and of course they react with fear and trepidation. But Jesus reassures them, telling them not to be afraid. Then he shares with them a great truth of the Christian faith, the dance between the three members of God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) and us, his children. Jesus says, “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” And that he is sending the Spirit, the Advocate of truth, to be with us forever.
What does this mean for us, that the Trinity dwells in each other and in us? It’s a great mystery, to be sure, but has practical implications. For one, we are never alone. Jesus lives within, and we can just pause and practice his presence, to quote the phrase from Brother Lawrence of centuries ago. As we are quiet, we can call to mind the fact that God has descended not only to earth as the man Jesus, but that he dwells in us when we have welcomed him in. He can quicken our thoughts; bring to mind someone who is hurting for whom we can pray and reach out to; bring comfort and peace… the list is endless. No longer are we alone.
May the peace of Christ surround us this day.
For reflection: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
I love this section of the Bible so much that I have written a month of daily notes on John 14 to 17 for Inspiring Women Every Day. Look for it in September!