John 17: 6-11

“I have made manifest your name to those human beings who have come out of the world to me through you.  Yours they were, and you have given them to me, and they have kept your word in their inmost being.  Thus they have recognized that everything which you have given me is from you; for all the power of the word which you have given me, I have brought to them.  They have taken it into themselves and have recognized in deepest truth that I come from you, and they have come to believe that I have been sent by you.  I pray to you for them as individual human beings, not for mankind in general.  Only for the human beings which you have given me, because they belong to you.  Everything that is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine, and the light of my being can shine in them.  I am now no longer in the world of the senses; but they are still in the world of the senses.  And I am coming to you.  Holy Father, keep, through the power of your being, those who came to me through you, so that they may become one, as we are one.”  *

The message of the High Priestly Prayer seems so simple: “They have kept your word in their inmost being.  Keep them through the power of your being.”

How do you do that—keep His word in a world of chaos and violence?  How do you create order in that chaos?  For us humans that looks like an impossible task.  It is even difficult to imagine that the angels will unravel all the knots.  They may have the patience of angels, but unraveling the chaos human beings bring about has to be a colossal job.  You can even imagine that the angels lose courage and sooner or later turn away from humanity with the message: “We can’t help you if you don’t help yourself and each other.”  In our time the danger arises that the angels will lose interest in human beings.

In the High Priestly Prayer, Christ prays for all who want to follow Him.  In this one sentence the task of all true Christians, wherever and whenever in the world, is expressed: “They have kept your word in their inmost being.”  Again, how do you do that?  For it can’t mean that we have to learn and remember every word in the Bible?

God waits and works in silence with more than the patience of an angel.  He works with divine patience to bring His word to manifestation in us.  No longer does He call us to order through commandments and prohibitions, but His word sounds in the still voice of our conscience, and in the strong voice of our destiny.  And even when this becomes fateful to us, even then it is still hiding the gift of the Lord of Destiny.

If we follow the voice of conscience, if we say yes to the voice of destiny, we have kept His word in our inner being and will be kept in the power of His being.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, May 26, 2024

* From: The New Testament, a rendering by Jon Madsen.

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