The time has come for Jesus.
Jesus is aware of this.
He knows that it is time.
And so, Jesus looks up to heaven and then he prayers this very moving prayer to God.
The prayer comes across to us today like poetry.
There is a beautiful rhythm to the prayer.
The words are powerful.
Jesus prays that God might glorify him so that God is glorified.
Notice that Jesus’ pray for glory is not for himself alone.
Rather is for God.
As Jesus is glorified God is glorified.
Then Jesus continues his prayer.
But again, the prayer is not for himself now his prayer is for his followers.
And consider now what Jesus prays for here.
The prayer that Jesus prays is a prayer of protection and a prayer for unity.
He says, “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”
This past week, as I was thinking about this Scripture reading, I thought about this very prayer.
I thought about how relevant this prayer is for us right now.
We need this prayer today just as much as his first followers needed that prayer.
Jesus prays this prayer for his people.
But it is a prayer that we might pray as well.
Holy God, protect us in your powerful name and keep us connected as one body in Christ.
In the past two months I have seen and have been a witness to this prayer at work in Christ’s Church.
I have witnessed and have been a part of the Holy Spirit’s work in keeping our church connected and together.
Every Sunday we worship together at 9:30 am.
In our particular homes we have set apart sacred time, sacred space for worship.
Like giving a portion of our money in a tithe to God in our offerings we offer a portion of our time and our space to God and to our faith community for worship each Sunday morning.
We gather as a virtual faith community over Webex.
I believe our weekly gatherings have been the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst.
I have also witnessed and been a part of the Holy Spirit’s work as we continue to do ministry in Jesus’ name.
We have made face masks out of our desire to care for and love our neighbors.
We have taken an offering for our local food pantry and through that special offering we have received almost three thousand dollars.
That offering gift will provide so much food for the pantry.
We have continued to support the work and operations of this congregation through our Sunday offerings that have been mailed in or given through our on-line giving.
Through your faithful Sunday offerings, we have been able to also continue tithing to the Synod to support their various ministries.
We have prayed for each other and have been leaning on God’s healing presence in our lives.
We have supported and encouraged one another at this time through phone calls, emails, texts, Facebook messages, letters, and through uplifting conversation over Webex and Zoom.
I have been a witness and been a part of the work of the wider church these past two months through connecting with our local ecumenical community, our Walworth ELCA conference, and through the continuing work of the Synod.
The work of Christ’s church continues at this time.
It has not stopped.
Jesus’ prayer for protection and for unity continues to be prayed at this time.
Today marks the last and final Sunday of Easter.
It has been an Easter season unlike any Easter that we have ever experienced.
But even with that said Christ and his glory is no less visible and present to us right now.
Our faith is still strong.
Our trust in God is sure.
Have we struggled?
Have we felt doubts?
But Jesus’ faithfulness for us remains true and our faithfulness to Jesus remains true.
We feel the Lord’s protection.
We know the Lord’s call for unity.
Day by day we are witnesses of these very things.
At a time when we need protection.
At a time when great divisions threaten so many communities, we hold steadfast to our Lord’s prayer.
“Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”
Last Sunday I invited everyone, for the next seven days, to spend your last five minutes of your day with God.
To review the day with God in prayer and to be in the presence of God for the last few minutes before you drift off to sleep.
This coming week may we join together in praying this very simple prayer that the Lord first prayed for us.
May God bless us as we join with Jesus in praying for protection and for unity.