We all like to receive gifts, the gift of life is a very precious gift, the gift of love is another then there is the gift of friendship and fellowship or what about the nicely wrapped Birthday or Christmas gift and sometimes people just appearing on the front door step with a gorgeous bunch of flowers, just to say ‘Thank you’ for being there.
In this reading this morning Jesus was sent to us as a gift, he gave us the most amazing gift anyone could be given.
He died for us, he gave up his life here on this earth to give us our lives and take away our sins.
The Gospel reading this morning from John is the prayer that Jesus prayed for his Disciples as he leaves them behind, to be at the right hand of his Father in Heaven.
He encourages them to be confident and gives them hope in his imminent departure from them. This prayer also relates to us as he is praying to the Father on behalf of those who are left in the world.
In this passage ‘Giving’, in very evident. The Father and the Son are “givers” and their mutual giving constitutes the grace which those who belong to Jesus have inherited and in which they are now seen to live.
The Father gives, the Son imitates the Father in his giving. We are not talking about the giving of money but about the giving of humanity, grace, love and fellowship for each other and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gave himself to save us that is the greatest act of love anyone could give to another human being and then continued to pray for us, as he knew the journey going forward was not going to be easy for his disciples.
So knowing the Father and the Son and following as the disciples did, the Word becomes imbedded in our hearts and mind, and flesh.
So therefore the Word is also a gift that when it is unwrapped and opened can and does bring our heart and soul in line with God, therefore we are not only the receivers but we are also the giver.
We preach and teach the word, we speak with the Gospel on our lips and in our hearts, God works through us.
In verse 17, ‘All mine are yours and yours are mine, and I have been glorified in them’.
Those words leaped out of the page at me. What a privilege that the very glory of Jesus, all the love that was poured into the passion and death of Jesus on the cross, that long painful journey, he endured is focused on those whom the Father has given the Son to love.
What a wonderful thing that we who believe in his name, proclaim our faith and who belong to him are indeed the very glory of Jesus Christ, we are his disciples.
In verse 18 we hear Jesus say “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”
Just as the world rejected Jesus in his suffering and death, so the world will also reject the disciples.
Disciples will and did need the Father’s protection in the world, Jesus asks the Father to protect us against evil.
But still this community of disciples are sent like lambs amongst wolves into the world, just as the Father’s love has sent the Son into the world.
As Disciples of Christ, we are sent out into the world armed with the Word, this is our mission— the Father’s Word now becomes flesh.
Guarded and sustained in that Word we can now become ourselves, a community of prayerful, faithful disciples constituted in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection and in the promise of his presence in the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Counsellor the Comforter and Prince of Peace.