Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.
Main Readings: Acts 1.6–14; Psalm 68.1-10, 32–35; 1 Peter 5; John 17.1–11
Supplementary Readings: Psalm 133; John 17.20-26; Acts 1.15-26; Psalm 68.11-20; Revelation 14.1-7; 15.2-4
‘Father, the hour has come…’ (John 17.1)
I sat once in a Bible Study and listened while a woman described how, as a child in Prussia in January 1945, her family loaded a baby pram with their most precious things and then set out to walk three hundred miles west over winter roads. They were fleeing oncoming Russian troops, hoping to reach the relative safety of British or American soldiers. “You have to think in moments like that what is really important,” she said.
Just before his arrest, Jesus spoke these words to his disciples: “Father, the hour has come.” In the drama that follows, Jesus shows us what is really important in times of trouble: the love of friends, courage in the face of suffering and faithfulness to the call of God. Few of us will be confronted with decisions such as those that the German girl and her family were called to make, but in the struggle this year with COVID-19’s challenges, all of us have had to rethink our priorities.
In our parish communities, we have been blessed to encounter the comfort of friends, a great deal of courage and a determination to negotiate the current challenges with faithfulness to God. Many of us have found unexpected blessings in these essential qualities.
May God continue to nurture that faithfulness when the hour of trial has passed.