This week we are going to try something a little different at The Gathering. Instead of the normal projected praise music, we are going to utilize the gifts of James and let him bring us into a different spiritual space with more of a focus on Classical Guitar meditations. We are trying this as a way to explore and play with our time to see the many ways in which we can connect with God.
In this spirit, I have picked a verse from John chapter 17 verse 6–19. And found some healing prayer to go with it. This pericope is part of the farewell prayer that Jesus is giving to his disciples on the night of his arrest. Like the “Marching order” of the great commission, this prayer for the Disciples is designed to remind them of their calling, purpose and ultimate direction.
Interestingly, in this commission, one of the calls for the disciples is to create a paradigm where as one of the primary goals and responsibilities aside from the spreading of the Word are to be on guard for the Evil presence that will invade the Christian Life. Moreover, they are to protect the new believers from the myriad of ways the evil one is likely to invade.
As Presbyterians, we have a theological issue with an embodied “Satan,” a dark angel who lurks in the world causing mischief and derision. While we do believe that there are those that who work primarily in the evil vein, evil is something that is not contained within an individual but is much more subversive. This means that we really have to work at recognizing evil for what it is, that which separates us from God.
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I’m consecrating myself for their sakes
So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
You see that when our motives and our actions are to save things that are in this world, bound in this world, we begin to lose our connection to God. This means our mission becomes more about our own need rather then God’s. The greatest truth in life is that anything that is acquired in this world will ultimately stay in this world except for what we have built within our relationship to God, since we do not live for the now, rather we live to the future.
Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen