Maundy Thursday, April 13

The High Priestly Prayer
John 17:1-11

We are kept by a promise, a promise asked by the Son and eternally kept by the Father. In the preceding two chapters, the Lord told the disciples that it is not going to work out as they had all initially thought: there would be no restored earthly kingdom; they would not be highly regarded or respected; and they would face a life of persecution, poverty and death. Driven from their homes, they would live out their remaining lives as outcasts.

In that moment of staggering confusion, fear, and doubt, Christ concluded by asking the disciples’ heavenly Father, in their very presence, “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one even as we are one” (v.11). In that very moment of fear and doubt, they heard Jesus ask the Father to keep them as He had kept Him, His Son. In the days to come, these words and their fulfillment would keep them and carry them through the threats and persecutions that were to follow. As Paul later noted, “Through all these things, by Him we are more than conquers” (Romans 8:37). The Roman Empire would fall. God’s word would cover the entire world. No wall could restrain it. No foe could hinder its fulfillment.

Our three daughters grew up continually hearing the words, “All things are in God’s hands.” No fear, or loss, or death could overcome these words and the promise they conveyed. We are God’s own and we all are held in His gracious, loving hands. All things will rise and fall according to His enduring will and abiding love toward us. Now at the age of 65, I can truly say that God has kept His word toward us.

Stepping Out in Lent - During this Lenten season, let us remember that we are eternally His, and rest well, held in His abiding hands

Author – Leon Henry Hughes is retired from the State of Florida and is now living in the woods with his wife of 43 years, Susan Hughes, who is also retired.