John 14: 23-29 (NRSV)
Verse 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. Verse 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.
Verse 25"I have said these things to you while I am still with you. Verse 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. Verse 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.
Verse 28You 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. Verse 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.
In the midst of his long goodbye to his disciples (John, chapters 13-17), Jesus answers a question from one of his disciples: “How is it you will reveal yourself to us (followers) and not to the world?” Jesus seems at first to answer indirectly, but in the process comes to his real point—to talk about the mutual exercise of love.
Jesus and God the Father live in a relationship of love, and loving persons seek to please and care for each other. Jesus loves the Father, loves all people, and loves his followers. Those who love him likewise love (albeit in a human way) the Father, other human beings, and other followers. In these loving relationships God is known, and Christ’s person and reality is truly known. People and the world who have no love of God and others miss the kindness and mercy of God. Nevertheless “God so loves the world…”
Loving God, out of love you created the universe, and sacrificed of your very being to bless undeserving people, including us. Please work in us so we know your love and express love to creation, to each other, and to all people. Amen.