29th May – Andrea’s Letter: Easter 7

29th May 2022

7th Sunday of Easter 2022 St Andrew’s Milngavie 

Dear All
Today we were once again a good number as we gathered to celebrate the 7th Sunday of Easter.
Any offerings for Christian Aid Week can still be submitted.  You can donate via envelope, available at church and returned, or via the internet – there is an e-envelope in the name of Milngavie –  e-envelope | Christian Aid Week

Notices for this week:
Tuesday 10am Prayer Group in the Garden Room.
7pm NWRC at St Augustine’s, Dumbarton
Thursday 10am Said Eucharist followed by coffee in Friendship House

Queen’s Jubilee
Friday 3rd June 5pm Flowers to be arranged in church – anyone welcome to bring a flower arrangement.
Saturday 4th June 10am – 4pm    Flower Show in Church.    Friendship House will also be open for teas etc
Sunday 5th June 10am Sung Eucharist for Whit Sunday celebrating Her Majesty the Queen

Saturday 18th June 2pm -4pm Summer Tea Party and Stalls in the hall and garden – volunteers also required to cover stalls and provide tea and service.

Readings for next Sunday – Pentecost/Whitsun    Acts 2:1-21   Romans 8:14-17    John 14:8-27

Today’s Readings – John 17:20-end  Acts16: 16-34   Rev22:12-14,16-17,20-end

On Thursday we celebrated Ascension Day, the day our Lord ascended to heaven.  But as Christ ascends to heaven the disciples in a sense descend to earth to begin the challenge of their ministry. We often talk about coming back down to earth after an exciting event. And this is what is happening here to the disciples.

Jesus knows what a task and challenge the future will be for his disciples. He experienced struggles of earthly life himself.  So, he is fully aware they will need strength from the Holy spirit to guide and inspire them and how much they will need prayer.  It is prayer which underpins all our Christian lives. In the bible Jesus often took himself off to pray alone, this is why I find this morning’s passage from St John’s gospel so beautiful and moving.

Jesus before his death is praying desperately for his friends, for those he loves. And for those who will love him. And he does this in the same passionate way we pray for our loved ones.  And we can even imagine Jesus still praying for us in the same way as he sees the way we live, the challenges we face and the world we live in today.

In fact, for the last few Sundays of Easter all our gospel readings have been taken from St John’s gospel – wonderful passages relating Jesus’ final conversation s with his disciples.  Words that reveal Jesus’ true relationship with God and us, the true distinctiveness of his divinity, words surrounded in mystery and love.

Two Sundays ago Jesus tells us “I give you a new commandment that you love one another”

Last week he urges us “do not let your hearts be troubled, do not let them be afraid”

Today Jesus prays for his disciples in verse 20 he says “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word”
Jesus is also praying for us! “The glory that you have given me I have given them, So that they may be one, as we are one”

It is the Christian belief that we will share all the experiences of Christ.  If we share Christ cross, we will also share his glory.

In the second letter to 2 Timothy 2:11-12 it says “ If we have died with him,  we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him”

And we recall the well known words from 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly but then we shall see face to face”

The joy we have now is only a foretaste of the joy which is to come. It is Christ’s promise that if we share his glory and his sufferings on earth, we shall share his glory and triumph when life on earth is ended.

From Jesus’ prayer for his disciples which we heard this morning Jesus went straight out to the betrayal, the trial and the cross. He was not to speak to his disciples again. So, it is incredible to think that before those terrible hours his last words were not of despair but of glory.

May we take this glory to our hearts and let it become our glory, and let it bring hope to us.  In the same way that the first apostles and disciples of Christ did after his Ascension.  We have been reading about them in Acts on the Sundays following Easter. This morning the jailor asks Paul and Silas in prison “What must I do to be saved?” “Believe in the Lord Jesus” is the reply.

Immediately their lives were transformed. They were baptised and showed acts of kindness, washing Paul and Silas’ wounds and offering them hospitality – they had received Christ’s glory.

May our lives and actions also reflect this glory as we recall Christ’s words spoken to us – Love one another, and let not our hearts be troubled, nor let them be afraid.

All this in the context of our earthly lives and the many challenges and uncertainties we face today, until we also make our Ascension into the Holy Mysteries and God’s Kingdom.   Amen.