Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”
I am so thankful you have chosen to worship with us this Sunday as we declare: Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia!
Last Sunday we discussed the intensity of love Jesus requires from us. He doesn’t require it as a command without substance, for He lived out the very love He asks us to live. He modeled complete committed love for us and asks us to follow in His footsteps.
If you did your homework and read Revelation 3:14-21, you saw Jesus’ attitude toward those who stand at a distance and are lukewarm. We know that non-committal love is not sufficient for Jesus and is insufficient for us who follow Him.
By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we have been called to follow Jesus Who is the ultimate model of overwhelming love. Importantly, we hear today that following Jesus provides us with the incredibly beautiful promise Jesus speaks of. If we love Jesus and keep His word, the Heavenly Father holds us in His love and beautifully the Father, Son, and Spirit come to us and dwell with us: We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him.
Having God dwelling with us, and key here is that dwelling does not mean just hanging out for a bit, but rather living continually with us, gives us key privileges.
We hold the privilege of eternal life in the heavenly Jerusalem described in Revelation. As God dwells with us, so at the same time we dwell with Him not just now, but forever in the heavenly place of light and peace, of worship and praise.
We hold the privilege of God’s peace. It always fills my heart with joy when I hear people tell me that they find this place to be one of peace. The witness of so many of our parishioners and friends attests to the peace of God that is here as He dwells with us. Here with Jesus, we can let go of whatever it is that binds, worries, stresses, limits, or causes fear in our lives. We know that God is dwelling with us and no matter what fears the world may bring we overcome it. God’s peace is that which removes the weight of life which is the fear of what is next. We already know our next – eternal life.
We hold the privilege of the Holy Spirit. As we now start our approach to the Solemnity of Pentecost in these last two weeks of Easter, we are reminded of the Spirit’s presence in the Church which is in us. We know, as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit is here to teach [us] everything and remind [us] of all that [Jesus] told [us].
With the privileges of God’s permeant presence and our presence with Him forever, peace that overcomes all things, and the Holy Spirit teaching us and reminding us, we come to understand and live the enormous love we are called to each day.