Glory and Spirit

This is one of a series of short reflections that can be used by individuals or small groups. It may be worth considering keeping a journal to make notes as you use each reflection.

This session explores a passage in John’s Gospel that highlights the fact Jesus is going to die. There is something very important here – Jesus’ death will be his glorifying, and as a result the Holy Spirit will be given to the believers.

Settling in.
Spend a few moments to prepare to be open to receive from God during this reflection.
You may consider putting your phone on silent for a while. Light a candle. Get comfortable.

Gathering worship

This session is scheduled to take place around the beginning of Lent.

A traditional Psalm for Lent is Psalm 51. Verse 1 says: “Have mercy on me O God, according to your unfailing love.”

Reflect on this verse as you listen to Allegri’s Miserere.
Settle yourself. Have nothing in your hands, sit comfortably and listen to this piece of music. Don’t worry about the words (in Latin) but let God speak to you through the music.

At the end – pray:

Holy God, My life is laid before you, rescue me from the chaos of sin and through the death of your Son bring me healing and make me whole in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

Reflection : Rejection and Glory

This is a difficult passage. Jesus is at a festival – with lots of crowds present. The festival includes the ceremony of pouring water down the temple steps to commemorate the living water of God mentioned in the prophets. Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit that will be given to the believers. Jesus also speaks of his glory.

Read John 7:25-39

Identify in this passage anything that shows Jesus is going to be rejected and killed.

Now turn to John 12: 27-34

One of the major themes in John is that the death of Jesus glorifies both God and his Son, Jesus.

Reflect on how the cross gives glory to God.

Read again John 7:37-39

The account of the giving of the Holy Spirit is different in John’s Gospel compared to the other Gospels. Elsewhere it is presented as the culmination of the Jesus story (death, resurrection, giving of the Holy Spirit and then the ascension of Christ into heaven)

John presents us with a Jesus who promises the Spirit to the believers – often it is mixed with references to his death

Reflect on how you feel about the promise of the Holy Spirit being linked with references to Jesus betrayal and death.

What does this say to you about the nature of the Holy Spirit?

Closing Worship

Light a candle

Glorious God, your thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are your ways our ways.

You look at the ugliest soul and see, still unstirred, the wings of an angel.

We scan the finest of our neighbours, anxious to find the flaw.

You view time in the context of eternity, and so find a place for waiting, for yearning, even for suffering, even for dying.

We demand instant results; and look for tomorrow before savouring today.

You know that only one who suffers can ultimately save, that is why you walk the way of the cross.

We fear that vulnerability which defies our power; that is why we allow for crucifixion.

Your thoughts are not our thoughts

Neither are your ways our ways

And yet we know that your way is the ladder to heaven, while, left to our own devices, our ways slope downwards to hell.

But we are here, not to have our worst confirmed, but to have our best liberated.

So we pray

Forgive in us what has gone wrong,

Repair in us what is wasted,

Reveal in us what is good.

And nourish us with better food than we could ever purchase:

Your word, your love, your inspiration, your daily bread fro our life’s journey, in the company of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(From Stages on the Way. Wild Goose Worship Group. )

This is part of a series originally compiled by Bob Callaghan and Alison Spreadbridge for St Edmund’s Church, Dartford.

Still figuring out what being a disciple might mean. Anglican priest and cyclist. One of the founders and editors of New Roots - partly as a way of hanging on in there!

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