Fifth Sunday of Easter- Week of May 10, 2020
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collects: Contemporary, Book of Common Prayer, p. 225)
Adult and Small Child
Read: John 14:1-14
Reflect: Finding a treasure map means that somewhere there is a reward where “X” marks the spot. Following the clues and going from one location to the next is very important to get to the reward. No one tries to find another set of directions instead of the map, nor does anyone put the map away and try to figure it out on their own. The map has all the directions needed for the treasure-seeker. In today’s reading, when Jesus tells Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6, NRSV) this is what he means. We have in Jesus the way to God, the only way. In Jesus, we have an example of what God is like and how we can follow his life as we journey toward our ultimate treasure, a relationship with God.
Respond: Plan a scavenger hunt with your own treasure map! Or use this option as a scavenger walk with Jesus that will remind you of the Easter story.
- Quantrilla Ard
Adult and Elementary
Read: John 14:1-14
Reflect: I spent a week every summer in 3rd -5th grades at a camp. I loved going to summer camp. Each year, I met a dozen new girls in my cabin, and together we would get to know each other while tackling challenges like ropes courses laughing over silly songs and being brave with each other when someone felt homesick.
Going to camp reminds me of what Jesus is talking about when he tells the disciples that he is going to prepare a place for them. Philip immediately wants to know how to get to this place, and Jesus points out that he is the way! My experiences at camp were only fun because of the way my cabin mates and I worked together to make them fun. It’s impossible to complete a ropes course alone, and silly songs aren’t much fun on your own either. We made camp because we were there together. When Jesus says he is the way, we are invited to follow after him and live the way he lived—loving God, our neighbors, and even our enemies! Living this way guides us to the place Jesus promised and prepared for us, and it helps us to see that that place is all around us all the time.
Respond: Answer the question “Jesus is…” and create a reminder in your house to remind us that we follow the way of Jesus by living like Jesus showed us. You could create a paper chain with a different answer on each loop or write your answers in a dry-erase or window marker on a mirror.
- Megan Westra
Adult and Youth
Read: John 14:1-14
Reflect: Our reflections have focused on the life of Jesus and his purpose for our lives. Some of you may feel drawn to learn more about the life and teachings of Jesus and want to become a follower of Jesus. In this passage, Jesus is explaining the only way to get to God is through Him- Jesus is one with God. When we believe in Jesus and commit our lives to Him, we get to live knowing that we are in communion with God. For followers of Jesus, through their belief in him, he has given them the ability to do great works like he did while on earth- this is why we pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus changes hearts and lives for the better, and as believers we get to experience this change in our lives, which causes us to share the goodness of Jesus with others.
Respond: I encourage you to begin reading the gospel of Matthew to learn more about the life and principles of Jesus. Even if you are already a follower of Jesus, reading the gospels give us a roadmap for how to live our lives in a way that honors God.
- Faitth Brooks
Adult and Adults
Read: John 14:1-14
Reflect: The setting for this story is the Last Supper where Jesus is leaving his disciples with farewell instructions and reassurances. They have been told the details of what is about to unfold and they are frightened. Jesus reassures them that he is not leaving them but returning to be with the Father. He will prepare a place for them so that they can dwell with him in relationship with God, a relationship grounded in trust and love that they all share. Jesus lavishes his love on us. He invites us into the “divine dance” with the Trinity, which is not a closed circle, but is always drawing us in. John O’Donohue writes that Jesus as the Son of God is the secret anam cara of every individual. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and cara is the word for friend. A soul friend is someone to whom you can share your innermost self, your mind and your heart. This friendship is an act of recognition and belonging. We belong in sacred friendship with Jesus and through him participate in the divine dance of the Trinity. Jesus said to “trust God and trust me.” Embraced by him for eternity, at one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we can dare to be free in a love that invites all to enter in.
Respond: Andrei Rublev’s 15th century icon called The Hospitality of Abraham or more commonly known as The Trinity is one of the more recognizable icons in the world and one of the best examples of Russian art. Icons are religious paintings that are written to draw the viewers in to something beyond the painting itself. In this icon there is a square hole at the front of the table around which sits three figures. Some art historians believe the remaining glue there may have held a mirror to reveal the fourth person of the Trinity – you the viewer. Follow this link to view Rublev’s Trinity Icon and learn more of its meaning.
- Jan Schroeder
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