Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
I take refuge in you, Lord.
Please never let me be put to shame.
Rescue me by your righteousness!
Listen closely to me!
Deliver me quickly;
be a rock that protects me;
be a strong fortress that saves me!
You are definitely my rock and my fortress.
Guide me and lead me for the sake of your good name!
Get me out of this net that’s been set for me
because you are my protective fortress.
I entrust my spirit into your hands;
you, Lord, God of faithfulness—
you have saved me…
My future is in your hands.
Don’t hand me over to my enemies,
to all who are out to get me!
Shine your face on your servant;
save me by your faithful love.
light of the minds that know you,
life of the souls that love you,
strength of the thoughts that seek you:
Help us so to know you that we may truly love you,
so to love you that we may fully serve you,
whose service is perfect freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
—Based on the Gelasian Liturgy (8th century); Church of Scotland Book of Common Order (1874) and Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (1906)
John 14:1-14 (Common English Bible Translation)
The way, the truth, and the life
“Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. My Father’s house has room to spare. If that weren’t the case, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too. You know the way to the place I’m going.”
Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you have really known me, you will also know the Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.”
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father; that will be enough for us.”
Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you all this time? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I have spoken to you I don’t speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me does his works. Trust me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or at least believe on account of the works themselves. I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father can be glorified in the Son. When you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.
Some initial thoughts leading up to Sunday
The opening words of Jesus in this passage, “Don’t be troubled… Trust in God. Trust also in me.” are almost all the words that need to be said.
Of course, there is more that could be said out of this rich passage. And I will probably say some more, but, I do wonder sometimes if fewer words are better.
We might do well simply to take these words, and ‘chew’ them over a few times.
‘Don’t be troubled… Trust in God. Trust also in me.’
The invitation to trust in God is an invitation into a deep ocean of endless goodness, grace, energy, forgiveness, rest…The endless source of all we need for our living.
How do these words sit with you today, this Wednesday 6th May 2020?
Are these words of Jesus, a word for you today?
Don’t be troubled… trust in God… trust also in me…
Don’t be troubled by the lockdown
Don’t be troubled by rising agitation
in other’s struggles
Don’t be troubled by scenes from around the world
Don’t be troubled by what the future may or may not be
for your family
for our communities
‘Don’t be troubled,’ Jesus says. ‘Trust in God. Trust also in me.’
“I take refuge in you.” The Psalmist says.
Looking at the photo of the Sefton Bivvy, I can imagine many a tramper who have found refuge within its tin walls when the weather has turned bad, a place to rest and grab a bite to eat after navigating the challenging terrain to reach it. Relief from the icy wind perhaps. And yet, what amazing sights there are to see there.
Is this a sense of what trusting in God offers?
Rest and refuge and yet at the same time, so much more?
Take a moment with God in prayer
Are you troubled?
If you are, what about?
Chew over those words of Jesus in a moment of stillness…Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me.
If you aren’t troubled perhaps consider what trusting in God means for you.
If you had to describe it to someone, what would you say?
Does that mean something for you today?
whose greatness knows no limits,
whose wisdom no bounds,
whose peace excels all understanding;
you who love and help us beyond measure— help us to love you.
Though we cannot fully do so because of your infinite goodness,
increase and deepen our understanding so that we may love you more and more;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153)
Go gently, go lightly
Go gently, go lightly, go safe in the spirit,
live simply, don’t carry much more than you need:
go trusting God’s goodness, go spreading God’s kindness,
Stay centred on Jesus and where he will lead.
Go singing, go bringing the gifts of the Spirit,
go hopefully searching for things that are true:
in living, in loving, whatever befalls you,
God keep you, God bless you in all that you do.
Shirley Erena Murray