This Week’s Reflection Comes From
Rev. Krista Mendoza
Bethany Lutheran, Elmira
and Member of Synod Council
“I give them eternal life and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
Throughout the Gospel of John Jesus spends significant time trying to disclose the unique relationship between himself and his Father. Whether it is in the language of abiding or oneness or unity of action and voice, Jesus discloses the intimate relationship between Father and Son; Christ and God. Then, he takes that and draws the rest of us in to that relationship. Later, in John 17 Jesus says, “and this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
So, here is my musing….eternal life is deep and intimate relationship with our God in the persons of Messiah, Spirit and Father/Mother God. Eternal life begins now….began in our earliest prayers, earliest confessions, earliest songs of praise…eternal life has been a part of the reality of who we are from the beginning of our faith and Jesus extends an invitation to dive deeper into that eternal life as we foster a relationship with our God. True, eternal life comes to its fullness in the life to come when we come face to face with our Creator in the Kingdom /Heaven, but it does not begin there….it begins here and now.
I forget this, a lot. And when I forget this I neglect the awesome and extravagant invitation of Christ to know God, to know Christ, to be one with the divine nature of God. I assume I live a ho-hum life. I assume the grandeur of God will only be known and seen in the life to come. I assume the adventures to be had are left to the Hobbits and Hogwarts. I assume that I just have to plod through today in the hopes of something better to come once my time on this earth is complete. (Ok, that’s a little melodramatic, but you get the point.) Instead, I see Jesus issuing you and me a personal, all-access pass to God. The hard question for me is, “what am I going to do with it?” And, I hope this goes without saying…Jesus gives eternal life as a free gift and what we “do” with the invitation can never lead to us being “snatched” out of the Father’s hand. Amen.