ACTS 1:15-17, 20A-26. 1 JOHN 4:11-16 JOHN 17:11A-19
We’ve come to the last Sunday of Easter, concluding the great Week of Weeks. The gospel message couldn’t be more appropriate or more powerful as we anticipate the feast of Pentecost. The passage is taken from the prayer Jesus lifted up for his disciples at the Last Supper. They’re the last words he spoke to them before his arrest. This is what he prayed: “Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.”
In a few hours Jesus would give witness to Pilate. He boldly declared, “I came into the world to testify to the truth.” Jesus not only testified to the truth, he was the truth, the very Word of God made flesh. He stood in confrontation to the world that hates the truth the religious leadership that condemned him and the politicians that executed him. From the judgment seat of the cross he would judge them. And from the altar of the cross he would sacrifice himself to redeemed them.
Jesus continued his prayer. “As you sent me into the world, so I send them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.” Jesus’ prayer reached far beyond the supper table. He was praying for you and me. He was consecrating us in the truth, just as he consecrated those first disciples.
Consecrated by that sacred anointing, he sent us out. We’re to carry Christ, the way, the truth, and the life into the world that has lost its way, that doesn’t know truth, that’s barely alive. We’re the mustard seed Jesus planted. We’re the yeast he folded into a bowl of flour. The mustard seed will become a tree where the birds will find a place to roost. The yeast will coax the flour to become the bread of life. Dying to ourselves we’ll show the way; we’ll reveal the truth; we’ll celebrate a new life.
Ending the prayer, he said: “I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” With him in us, God’s love will conquer the world slowly transforming it into the kingdom of heaven.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the vine, and we are your branches. Consecrate us in the truth that the world might drink of the new wine of your kingdom. Amen