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Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; John 17:20-26

An Intimate Conversation

Today’s readings speak about God’s protection.  In the first reading Paul is being assured by the Lord that he must keep up his courage for further trials.  The Psalmist speaks to the safe refuge found in God’s love.  And in the Gospel, Jesus prays that his disciples and all believers may stay close to God.  The theme that jumps off the page is an intimate conversation about God’s protection.  In all three examples God’s protection was made known through an intimate conversation.

I love these chapters in John’s gospel.  No longer is Jesus speaking in parables or saying things that are difficult to understand, rather he is speaking plainly to his disciples and God.  He reveals that his mission is to bring all people into an understanding of and closer connection to God.  So where is the protection according to John gospel?  Protection is found by being one with Jesus as Jesus is with God.   Again, Jesus presents himself as “The Way.”  “The Way” to God, to the Kingdom, and to spreading the Good News of God’s love.

How does this relate to our lives?  Simply put, God wants us to be the intimate other, the beloved, or the child running into the arms of a parent.  In theory it sounds great to totally rely on God, but when the weight of the world is crashing upon us or when lies and deception are pointed at us, it is difficult to trust in God’s protection.  It will be a test of faith to trust that God will create goodness and love out of painful situations.  These potentially faith-filled situations are a perfect time to have an intimate conversation with God and stay close to the loving providence that Jesus so intimately spoke about.  God’s love will make a difference in our lives and whatever difficult situations we encounter.  The outcome may still be hurtful or unjust, but through our intimate conversations with God we will experience God’s endless love that will sustain us through the troubled times.

By Eden Foord

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