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Daily Scripture and Prayer….February 2021
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church

This month we continue in John’s Gospel with Jesus and his private teaching to those closest to him. Judas has reached his limit. The scandal of the footwashing was too much for him and he has gone out into the night. In chapters 14-17, Jesus poignantly tries to comfort his disciples and prepare them for what lies ahead. Each word drips with compassion and desire for them to finally understand what is going on and who he really is. And not only that, what who he is means, for them and the whole world. For the next couple of months, we will walk slowly and tenderly through these chapters. I invite you to write the day’s verse out in your own hand and post it somewhere where you can see it throughout the day. Read it slowly and meditatively often as you go through your day. I suspect that the power will open up in you from the warmth of your attention like a rose opens in the sun.

Feb. 1 – John 14:12 “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Remember that when Jesus starts a sentence with ‘very truly’ (literally amen amen), it indicates new and authoritative teaching. He is trying to tell them about the ways that faith (trust) empowers the community. There are a number of words in Greek for ‘work’, expressing everything from simple needed tasks, to busyness, to toil, to working together, or even to create something. Here, Jesus uses the word from the root erga. This word means employment. The works of faith are to be our employment, that which occupies us and brings us sustenance. The word ‘greater’ means complete. What Jesus is saying is that when we make our simple trust in Jesus our ‘employment’, both living it and sharing it, we will do amazing things because, after he is gone to the Father, we will have the complete story to share and live.
Prayer: Precious Lord, help us today to awaken to your presence, to see the big picture, to experience your great love and to share all of that with those around us. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 2 – John 14:13-14 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. These two verses are difficult.Reading them in English, it sounds like Jesus is a cosmic personal shopper with no bill coming due at the end of the month. That is not at all what is being said here! The word for ‘ask’ comes from the root to beg and implies seeking something as an inferior from a superior. It is often used to talk about alms giving, etc. Jesus, however does not use this word, but rather a derivative which means to ask as an equal. ‘In my name’ means in union with, absorbed in. So Jesus is not saying he will satisfy our egos desires or make things happen that are not in ours and others best interest if we simply end our prayers in his name. He is saying that when we are totally absorbed in his presence and values, we will ask from that place and our prayers will be received on equal footing with him because we have become like him. I know this is hard to take in. Just be with it. It is the core of Jesus’ teaching. When we follow him, we become absorbed in him, speak and act as him. When that is true our very prayers will be his prayers, they will be met and answered and will thereby glory God. The word ‘glorified’ means shimmering beauty and power revealed.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, how beautiful your words are! Help us today to become absorbed in your presence so that everything we think, do and ask, is consistent with who you are and your holy will. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 3 – John 14:15 - 15”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. The word for love here is agape, to consistently choose the good for the other. The word ‘keep’ means both to fulfill and to guard. ‘Commandments’ refers to the moral precepts that Jesus has taught, the core of his teaching, which is, of course, love itself. The tense of this verse is interesting. The word ‘will’ indicates a statement of fact. If
(also means since and when) we live in Love, the core of Jesus’ teaching will be as natural as breathing. When we chose the good for Jesus we naturally choose the good for others and even ourselves. It is important for living this principle to understand our own egos games and wounds. Those games can trick us into a state of egocentricity when we call expediency ‘good’ and mere affection ‘love.’ That is natural. It just makes life so hard and is not at all where Jesus is trying to take us.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, you have loved us all our lives, will love us to the end and beyond. Help us to awaken today to all those little stories we tell ourselves that are not loving. Help us to notice and release those thoughts that are not loving so that there will be more and more room in us for your transforming love. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 4 – John 14:16 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is an interesting verse. Jesus realizes that we are not yet fully absorbed into him. Therefore, we have a direct relationship with him and, through him, to the Father. He knows he is leaving and that will mean that we will need help staying connected to the Father. ‘Another’ means additional. Jesus is also our Advocate. ‘Advocate” (parakletos)means one who exhorts, comforts, helps, and who makes an appeal on behalf of another. ‘Forever’ means eternally. This is so beautiful! He is telling us that Spirit will eternally flow into lives prepared by being absorbed into love and obedience to the moral precepts of Jesus.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, prepare us today to awaken to your Spirit. Mold our souls in love and morality. Encourage us. Comfort us. Help us. Make an appeal on our behalf so that we can live this day in your presence and filled to overflowing with your love. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 5 – John 14:17 - 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. ‘Spirit of truth’ doesn’t just mean a truthful spirit. It refers to that which is real, ideal and genuine. ‘Sees’ is the word for to discern clearly. ‘Knows’ is the word for to know through direct and personal contact. ‘Abides’ means to remain, to stay in the same place. ‘In’ means inside, within, and among. He is comforting us by saying that when the difficult days come, Spirt, the being that is genuine, ideal and true, will be inside of us and among us.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes it feels like we are living in such tragic times, when truth and genuineness are in short supply. Help us today to awaken to your Spirit inside our very selves so that we can be both truthful and genuine in our homes and communities. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 6 – John 14:18 - ”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. This is so tender! The concept of orphan in Jesus’ day meant someone who is left destitute with no one to care for or teach them. ‘Coming’ means to return to a place.
Prayer: Dear Lord, you have promised to come to us, to care for us and to teach us. Help us today to open ourselves to the many ways that you fulfill that promise in our lives. Help us attach ourselves to you like a child to a parent, like a sibling to a sibling. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 7 – John 14:19 - 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. ‘In a little while” is a phrase for an indeterminant time period. ‘World’ (kosmos) refers to the earth and human affairs. (Paul uses it differently to refer to a kind of opposition to Christ, but that is not how John uses the word.) The word for ‘see’ means to discern dearly (not a typo) by directing one’s thought to that which is seen. In other words, the world of human affairs will not see Jesus clearly because they are not directing their thoughts lovingly toward him. In speaking about the disciples, Jesus
is speaking with great certainty. The word ‘will’ is emphatic. ‘Live’ is zoe, the inexhaustible eternal principle of life.
Prayer: Dear Lord, it certainly seems that in these days, many do not see you. They do not see because they do not look. Or they look but do not see you in us. Sometimes, to our sorrow, we are in that number. Help us today to look dearly at you and to then see your love in every situation, even if it takes ‘the inner eye’ to see beneath the circumstances. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 8 – John 14:20 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Here lies the great mystery of our faith! We are one with God. There is a great unity at the heart of the universe. Nothing is actually separate. (Think about how Paul declares this reality in Romans 8 when he says nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Why? Because we are one with Christ.) This is a tough concept to grapple with. We know we are not God and yet we are one with God. That is a core teaching of incarnation. God and humanity are made one in Christ. Of course, sin (ego) gets in the way of seeing and living this fully. That is why Jesus here says ‘on that day’, the day of final intervention, the day of revelation when all is made right. That can refer to the final day of history, or to intermediate days when truth dawns on us, or even to the day of our death when all truth and unity is fully revealed and lived. In other words, Jesus says that one day we will finally know who we really are!
Prayer: Precious Lord, sometimes the big truths just feel too big for us. We don’t know what to do with the magnitude of your love, a love that draws us into your very being. Somedays we feel so cut off from you, like you are all talk and no presence. Help us today to open to the mystery of your presence deep inside of us. Help us to realize that our feelings don’t tell the whole story and that you are closer to us than our own skin. We thank you and today we will walk with you in the mystery. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 9 – John 14:21 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Another amazing verse! Remember that ‘commandments’ refers to the moral precepts that grow out of love. ‘Keep’ means to guard, watch over and preserve. ‘Reveal’ means to manifest, uncover or lay bare. So, those who have love (agape) and live love, not as a feeling but a moral ethic, display their love to Jesus and receive even more love and revelation in return.
Prayer: Dear God, help us today to live loving and moral lives, guarding all the precepts and people who are dear to you so that we may revel in your great love for us and for all of humanity. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 10 – John 14:22 - 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” This Judas expected a large messianic sign to take place that no one could deny or refuse. He was looking for something really impressive in the sphere of the world that would end all oppression and return Israel to holy ownership of the land God gave her. All the faithful had those expectations. He cannot yet see Jesus’ love as that theophany, that great revelation, that changes all the world, ends all exploitation, toxic competition and even the concept of us and them. He cannot see yet the oneness and unity of all creation that Jesus has been talking about. We can’t judge him. It is hard and we are programmed not to see it ourselves. Not seeing this big picture of inner love changing the outer world is how oppression continues to thrive. Jesus wants them to know that they will be able to see what the world won’t, if they grapple with the mystery of incarnation and what it means, then, to be in Christ.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes we only see with worldly eyes. We need Spirit to help us see you with, within and among us. Help us today to realize that there is more at work in our lives than what we see with our eyes. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 11 – John 14:23 - 23Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Here Jesus says that when we live in love, and therefore keep the commandments, we will experience the Father’s great love. ‘Home’ is that beautiful word for dwelling place.
Prayer: Dear God, what an amazing image to think of our very selves as your home, the place where you come for refreshment, where you are greeted with love, where you are able to enjoy fellowship and share life and joy. Can I really be that much to you? Help me to create a beautiful home for you in my heart. Help me to treat myself with the love and respect with which you treat me as well. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 12 – John 14:24 - 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.Notice the semicolon in this verse. The subject doesn’t change, but it does pivot. In the first phrase, Jesus makes the obvious closing statement. Those who do not seek his good (agape) don’t guard his moral precepts as holy. The second phrase uses the word for ‘hear’ that means biological hearing. He is telling them that he is a literal conduit to the Father. They can trust him and what he says.
Prayer: Dear God, your word and being that come to us in Jesus, is trustworthy and true. Help us today to allow this simple, yet profound truth, to become deeper in our awareness. We thank you, O God, for your grace and goodness to us, especially when we are weakest. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 13 – John 14:25-26 – “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Today’s verses begin a short recap of the first unit in Jesus’ farewell discourse. It is one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible. Let’s look at in closely. Jesus begins by trying once again to tell them that he will not be with them the way he has been for very much longer. He wants them to understand that he is going to die. Nothing in their expectations for messiah prepared them for that. They were looking for a military monarchial type of leader. They knew Jesus was the one and they kept waiting for him to act like it. He tells them here that he will not. No sooner does he reenforce this sad news until he begins to comfort them again. English fails us here. Parakletos, translated here as Advocate, simultaneously carries all of its other meanings as well: encourager, comforter, consoler, helper. Try reading the sentence with each of those options to get the bigger picture. This is the only instance in John where the Paraclete is called the Holy Spirit. The word ‘remind’ (hypomimnesko) means to cause to remember, to bring to mind and make something real again. Have you ever noticed a scripture verse, or story, or line from a hymn coming to mind seemingly from nowhere? That is the Paraclete putting it into your mind when you need it, just as promised. For someone who’s mind is not quite as agile as it once was, this is such a blessing! One final thing this verse makes clear in the original: all the Spirit’s teaching will be consistent. You can know you are dealing with Spirit and not your wily ego, when the reminder is consistent with Jesus’ total revelation.
Prayer: O Great God, how tender and loving of you to send your own Spirit to remind us of what is true and important. How we need that assistance! Help us today to open our hearts to receive your nudges and reminders of how life works and fits together. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 14 – John 14:27 - 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. The word peace, irene, is similar to the Hebrew shalom, which means whole, nothing missing, nothing broken. Irene, has additional nuances as we discussed in our Advent study. A part of irene, in John includes the belief that peace comes from realizing that there is more to reality than meets the eye. ‘Leave with you’’ is the word for a bequest. Using the word kosmos again reminds them that the ordering of things in the world will not bring a larger
view that results in peace. ‘Let’ in the second sentence means allow. He is saying that you can control your emotions. They do not have to trouble you. That is a choice. The word for ‘afraid’ doesn’t just refer to feelings of fear. It comes from the root for timid or cowardly. Remember that the heart is the seat of the will as well as the emotions. Jesus is telling his friends not to allow their emotions to overwhelm their will and make them cowards in the days to come.
Prayer: O God, how we need to experience your peace that the challenges of daily life cannot undo! Help us today to claim our inheritance of peace, to allow our emotions to pass through us and teach their lessons, but not rule us or waste our energy chasing them all around our minds. Make us strong and of good courage. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

Feb. 15 – John 14:28 - You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. ‘If you loved me’ is stated as something that is inconceivable and therefore not real. It is stated rather harshly. Jesus tells them that if they love him they would understand what is happening and rejoice. The word for ‘rejoicing’ comes from the root for a gift of love or grace. It is commonly used to describe the experience of God’s presence. The word ‘greater’ was at the root of the Arian heresy that flourished in the church’s early centuries. This belief held that Jesus was subordinate to the Father, lesser in importance and was created by God and therefore not co-eternal. This dangerous belief creates a hierarchy in the Trinity which completely nullifies the whole notion of unity and that the heart of God always was and always will be equality and relationship. That is a big subject for unpacking in another context. For today, just remember that the word ‘greater’ in Greek is not a status word. It means weightier.
Prayer: Dear God, we know that you are one. Yet our dualistic thinking is so ingrained in us we can barely comprehend it. That is, until we experience it ourselves. Help us today to rejoice in the gift of Jesus’ time on earth as we exult with the Godhead in the divine and eternal dance of co-equal relationship. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 16 – John 14:29 - 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. The language becomes more tender again here. The word for ‘believe’ is not a construct of the mind, but rather of the soul. It means to trust or to trust into. He is saying to them, don’t be surprised by the trouble and tragedy that is coming; and for heaven’s sake, don’t panic and lose your nerve.
Prayer: Dear God, we know too well what it is like to panic and lose our nerve when difficulty comes. We know how to run when we should stand, and how to dig in when we should release. Help us today to greet life and to trust into you. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 17 – John 14:30-31 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way. You may wonder that Jesus says he won’t talk to them much more but then there seems to be a lot more talking. In my view that is due to the way John arranges his material theologically as opposed to strictly chronologically. More later. ‘The ruler of this world’ is archetypal language. It refers to the principle of all that is at war with God. We commonly personify that principle in images of the devil or Satan. The point here is that nothing and no one that stands in opposition to God has any ultimate power over Jesus. This is a word of unspeakable comfort! ‘Let us be on our way’ is important too. The word ‘way’ means path, journey or walk of life. Jesus has told them what he has to tell them. Now it is time for all of them to face their lives, to walk it all out in love and the moral precepts of God. Chapters 15-17 contain material that John or his editors inserted here. The narrative after this arising is picked up again with the triumphal entry in Chapter 18.
Dear God, thank you for constantly reminding us that evil has no real power over us. It may look like it has power. It may feel like it has power, but it is a vanquished foe. Help us today to walk our path with you, confident that nothing can defeat us. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 18 – John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. In these next chapters, John gathers more teaching that a believer needs to understand in order to live in peace and to face the opposition of the world. The themes in this section are repetition of earlier themes with new images. The story of the vine and branches reminds us that no matter how it may be seem, God is fruitful and we are in union with God. Jesus begins with another ‘I am’ statement that reinforces his unity with God, the Great I Am. ‘True’ means real, ideal or genuine. The image of Israel as God’s vine shows up in many places in the Hebrew Scriptures. A number of those passages deal with the fact that God planted Israel so lovingly, but that she turned from her gardener and produced alien fruit. See Jer. 2:21f, Isa. 5:1f and Song of Songs 8.
Dear God, how we thank you for coming to us in Jesus. We know that nothing that you ever will or do fails to bear fruit. Help us to remember today that even we can be fruitful because we are made by you. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 19 – John 15:2 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. This is a big verse with many implications! The word for ‘prune’ means to cut off, cut clean or to cleanse. Here Jesus is saying that, that which does not bear fruit must be removed in order to insure that proper fruit is brought forth. The image would be like removing a tumor so that the body can live in health. Jesus is not so much talking about lopping off fruitless believer from the vine as he is about removing impediments to fruitfulness from individuals and communities. The ‘fruit’ that is referred to here is acting and living in love. That is the heart of John’s gospel. In other word, anything that does not produce love in individuals or the community must go. Remember that there is a kind of ruthlessness in the spiritual walk. God is not a sentimental parent who just puts up with our egocentricity. God will destroy in us that which is not fit to exist in us. That is not easy. Not easy at all.
Dear God, oh how we know that there are things in our lives and communities that need to go in order that love may abound all the more. Help us and give us courage for honest soul searching. Show us what must be relinquished and give us encouragement to cut it away. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 20 – John 15:3-4 - 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it Feb. Feb. 20 – John 15:3-4 – You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless itabides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. The word for ‘cleansed’ is the same word used for pruning in the previous verse. ‘Word’ is logos, the creative word of Christ’s being. Abide means to continue, to dwell, to persist, to persevere, to remain constantly with. It is an urgent active word that involves the will. It can refer to a place or to a set of characteristics or a way of being. Here Jesus is urging us to immerse ourselves in him in such a way that he transforms our character into a reflection of his love for the world. We cannot do love in any sustained way without him.
Prayer: Dear God, awaken us to your presence today. Give us the will and the courage to continue, to persevere to remain and to dwell in you today. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 21 – John 15:5-6 - 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. Beginning with another I Am phrase, Jesus tells us that he is our source and our capacity. Without him we can do nothing as far as love is concerned because he is Love. The fruit he references is love in action in all of its manifestations.
‘Thrown away like a branch’ means to become worthless, to dry up. ‘Burned’ has a double meaning. It can mean useless and therefore destroyed. I can also mean to be purified. Again Jesus reminds us that we are a part of him, receive all we need from him, and without him it is not possible to live a truly loving life.
Prayer: Dear God, we long to produce more of the fruit of love! Help us today to draw our nourishment from you. Show us the ways that you want us to offer the fruit of love today. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 22 – John 15:7 - 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Jesus is telling us that, when we are in that marvelous state of union with him, even our desires will be so transformed that they will reflect the will of God and God will bring them about. That is not to say that God is under any obligation to give us anything that we think we want. Rather, it means that, as we live more and more from our true source and as we become more and more truly loving, we will want what God wants and become instruments of God’s will working in the world. As Augustine said in reply to a question about norms for behavior, “Love God and do what you will.”
Dear God, today please help us to remain in your love that our every action may further your will. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 23 – John 15:8 - 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. ‘Glorified’ means to be made shimmeringly beautiful and for that beauty to be unmistakably manifest for all to see. ‘Disciples’ are not just followers. They are not simply believers. The word means learner or student. Jesus is saying that the shimmering beauty of God is on display and produces fruit as we continue to both dwell and learn.
Dear God, your love for us and trust in us is amazing grace indeed. It is marvelous to think that we ourselves glorify you by every loving action we take. Love leads to more love, to more love, to more love until the harvest is bountiful. Help us to dwell with you and learn from you today so that your glory may lighten a darkened world. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 24 – John 15:9 - 9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. Jesus moves in the following verses to paint a picture for us of life in community and the nature of the church. The nature of both is interconnection and interdependence. ‘As’ simultaneously means as a result of and in the same way. The tense of agape, love, indicates an action already taken. It is like saying, ‘love expressed.’ ‘Abide’ here is a command, not a request. We are told to take actions of love in the exact way that the Father has done, self-giving, embracing, teaching, forgiving, pruning, fulfilling promises, ever present.
Prayer: Dear God, help us today to love in exactly the ways that you love. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 25 – John 15:10 - 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. There is a lot in this verse. ‘Keep’ means more than to obey or to guard here. It means to fulfill by acting upon. Again we see that the faith is not solely about what we accept or believe in our minds. It is about what we do with our lives. ‘Commandments’ refers to the moral precepts that make up a life. Here it refers to one’s whole way of life lived in union with God. ‘Have kept’ is in a tense that means always kept and keep on keeping. My paraphrase of this verse is ‘Diligently keep yourselves immersed in my complete love for you in exactly the same way I remain forever immersed in the Father.’
Prayer: Dear God, may our lives reflect our union with you. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 26 – John 15:11 - 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. ‘Joy’ (chara) means everything from wild hilarity to calm delight. Jesus is saying his fondest wish is that we will live in the joy of him. We pick up this concept in the Greek word Eucharistia, eucharist. ‘Complete’ means perfected. In Eucharist we experience in our physical lives the truth of our inner lives. We are in union with God in Christ. We acknowledge that his body enters our bodies. His blood flows in our veins. This is why we say to begin the Eucharistic liturgy…this is the joyful feast of the people of God.
Prayer: O Gracious God, O God of wonder and delight, you want nothing more for us than the completed and perfected joy of living in union with you. Help us today to take a further step on that path and to rejoice! In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 27 – John 15:12 12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. ‘That you love one another’ is in the Greek tense that expresses a continuous and life- long action. ‘As I have loved” is in the tense expressing a specific action taken in time. He is trying to prepare them for his death, his love expressed in a supreme action in time.
Dear God, we are humbled at the way you expressed your love for us on the cross. Help us to love you continuously by abandoning anything in our lives that is not loving. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Feb. 28 – John 15:13 - 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This is what love means in John. Period. ‘Friends’ comes from the Greek word for love philios. It ordinarily refers to the deep bonds of affection within families. In John it is broadened considerably. It refers to beloved, deeply cherished ones. John understood this to be an instruction that calls us to hold each other in high esteem and sacrifice for each other, to treat each other as holy in the way that Jesus treats us.
Prayer: Dear God, you call us your dearly cherished ones. Help us to cherish others as your cherish us so that they may experience the joy we find in you and each other as well. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.