May 28 – Seventh Sunday Easter: John 17: 1-11
This chapter of John ends the Last Supper discourse with Jesus delivering a summary of what he has done to draw the world out of its corridor of habitual and blind enclosure into the spaciousness and graciousness of God’s way of being – and how some have heard his voice and stepped into reality as God creates it and others have not, who maintain habits of mind and conduct (often behind the name of “orthodoxy”). He speaks of his departure, his exiting this domain of fallen time, this dead end, to open a gateway beyond mere death, to real life, real beauty or to put it another way: to the discovery of creation as you have never noticed it before.
He has given them signs, miracles of the glory, the radiance of what lies beyond the shortsightedness of Pharisaism and materialism and nihilism. He wishes that those who follow him out into the sunshine of his resurrected world may be as united as he and the Father are one – “I in them and you in me . . . that the love with which you, Father, loved me may be in them and I in them.”
And so this forty day intrusion of real time and real space into clock time and unconscious habit does not close but continues to reveal how the risen Jesus, indeed the whole Trinity, abides with us, dwells among us, shows up on unscheduled occasions – for instance to get a reluctant Peter to speak the vernacular of God’s world, which is to say, “I love you.”
Sometimes it takes a popular song to sum things up as in:
I have often walked down this street before
But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before
All at once am I several stories high
Knowing I’m on the street where you live.
Are there lilac trees in the heart of town?
Can you hear a lark in any other part of town?
And oh, the towering feeling just to know somehow you are near
The overpowering feeling that any second you may suddenly appear
People stop and stare, they don’t bother me
For there’s nowhere else on earth that I would rather be
Let the time go by, I won’t care if I
Can be here on the street where you live