Daily Devotion – May 12, 2021 – Pastor Erick Thompson
6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that[a] you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost,[b] so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.[c] 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.[d] 16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
Jesus’ prayer near the end of the Gospel of John contains so many important themes for our lives as Christians. I actually used verse 18 from this text for my ordination: “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” What’s so important for me in the verse is that we are sent into the world. Jesus does not ask us to simply remain where we are, but sends us into the world. We are all on a mission, a mission from God.
The last line comes from the movie, “The Blues Brothers.” It’s a film many of us know about, but not everyone realizes that the main characters in the film are on a mission from God. They have been sent by a nun to deliver a payment so that their old orphanage doesn’t get shut down. What’s hidden in the great comedy and music of the movie is how true the Blue Brothers are to their mission. While they may break a few rules on the way, their hearts are absolutely in the right place. They are on a mission from God and they will not stop until they have completed it.
The point I love about this movie is that God will use anyone to carry forth the mission of the gospel. You can even be an ex-con and do the Lord’s work. The other point for me is that you don’t have to be ordained or specially trained to do this work. And, being on a mission from God doesn’t have to involve preaching. I hope that you all will spend some time thinking how you are being called to further the work of God’s mission here on earth. It might help to know that at St. John, our mission is: Welcomed in Christ. Called to community. Sent to serve. At the very least, I hope you watch “The Blues Brothers.” It’s a classic film that’s a lot of fun. But, I hope you see in the movie how everyone can be called to be part of God’s mission.
Prayer: God, continue to call us to be part of your mission, so that we might know the joy that comes from being part of your ministry of grace and love in the world. Amen.