Lessons from a Liturgical Conundrum
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. John 17:15-16
The Seventh Sunday or Week of Easter is a liturgical calendar conundrum. Last week, the Church celebrated the ascension of our Lord. On June 5, the Western Church will celebrate Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Nestled in between those two festivals is an isolated ten days where the celebration of Easter continues, but Christ has ascended to the Father’s right hand. What do we do with these days?
Actually, these few days are much like this time of the Church between Christ’s ascension and His second coming. So every Sunday is a little Easter. In fact, we are an Easter people who celebrate our Lord’s resurrection every day and also look forward to His glorious return every day.
Jesus’ words in John chapters 14-17 are intended to prepare the apostles and the Church for His ascension. In that extended discourse, Jesus’ prayer for His disciples was that they would be faithful as they are sent into the world, but not conformed to the pattern of the world in the time between His ascension and His return. He asks that the Father would protect them from Satan’s attacks
We still find ourselves in that same time between the ascension and Christ’s triumphant return. Christ’s prayer is ultimately our prayer to be sanctified by the truth of God’s Word as we live and serve in the world. May God continue to preserve us we live in between seasons and as we serve where the Lord leads.
Prayer – O King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan