St Michael’s Church, Church Lane, Aughton, Ormskirk L39 6SB Tel 01695 424457 (Parish Office, Mon to Fri, 9am - 12 noon)
14th May 2017 - Easter 5
Gospel Reading: John 14.1-14
Theme: Divine hospitality
Bible notes on the reading:
The Gospel readings for this week and next are drawn from one of the most sublime parts of the New Testament. In John 14, Jesus speaks to disciples who, not surprisingly, are troubled at the thought of his going away. Through him, John addresses disciples some years later for whom the physical absence of Jesus only exacerbates the anxiety fed by the local synagogue’s hostility (see John 15.18–16.4).
Jesus calms his disciples’ fears by assuring them that his impending absence will bring about a new kind of presence. His death will take him to the many-roomed house of his Father in heaven, but at the same time bring this heavenly dwelling to them. Not for the first or last time in this Gospel, Thomas is mystified, and he speaks for all those who are puzzled by what appears to be Jesus’ speaking in riddles (see John 11.7-16). Between them, Thomas and Philip draw out what Jesus means. Jesus is the true ‘way’ to the Father (v.6), the living link between earth and heaven, because ‘whoever has seen me has seen the Father’ (v.9). In Jesus, the heavenly Word is made flesh (John 1.14). And so Jesus can speak of the mutual indwelling of Father and Son in the words he speaks and the works he carries out, a relationship that is open to all those who are prepared to trust what he says.
Some find the exclusiveness of verse 6 difficult and even offensive. What it doesn’t say is that ‘no one knows anything about God except through me’. Its positive message is that those who are prepared to trust Jesus will share something of his relationship with the one he calls Father. Jesus’ gracious offer of the hospitality of his Father’s house is open to all (John 1.17; 3.16; 12.32).
Live your faith - ideas for our faith into action in our daily living.
For children: Encourage the children to light a candle (with adult help) for someone on a difficult journey.
For adults & young people: Think what you can do this week to point others to Jesus – the way, the truth and the life.
Find out more about one of the bible passages
we have heard this week.
Prayers around today’s themes
A way into prayer
Say slowly, and out loud, Jesus’ words: ‘Set your troubled hearts at rest. Trust in God always; trust also in me' (John 14.1, NEB translation). Name things that are troubling you one by one, and after each one say again Jesus' words.
A children’s prayer
O Lord our shelter,
bring warmth to all who are cold,
safety to all who are afraid,
peace to all who are worried,
and joy to all who are sad.
A prayer for personal use during this week
when I feel alone and the road is long – be my companion;
when I feel on the outside of things and doors seem closed –
grant me courage;
when I see others struggling – may I be a companion to them;
when I am tempted to keep others out –
grant me your loving heart.
Make your way, my way,
and enable me to bless others as you have blessed me.
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Reflection questions on this week's picture: