Sunday after Ascension Day – Sunday 8th May 2016 – John 17: 20-end.

Sunday after Ascension Day  – Sunday 8th May 2016 – John 17: 20-end.

This is a challenging Gospel – challenging in the way of keeping us awake and alert as it’s read! There’s no hooks or narrative to keep us with John. 

Had a break as I’d got a bit stale but this new way of looking at Scripture I’m enjoying – I hope you do it.

I got the inspiration from this article I read over Christmas:

(I gather the link I’ve been giving isn’t working) – The article is ‘Angels and Dreams: Second Naivete and the Christian Imagination’ and is on http://www.abc.net.au

Prof. Sarah Coakley considers the ways the left side of the brain and the right side produces different thinking states. The left ‘side of the brain (with) that neurological states associated with cool analysis and executive decisions’. 

Whereas ‘In contrast, the right brain’s capacity to replenish, enrich and re-invigorate our cultural imagination by means of meditation, dream, myth, ritual, music and poetry’. 

So My three questions will be:

  1. What left hand side of the brain thinking might I find surprising or challenging in this passage?
  2. What right hand side of the brain thinking might I find surprising or challenging in this passage?
  3. What might I preach about – living in suburban Kidderminster.
  1. What left hand side of the brain thinking might I find surprising or challenging in this passage?
  1. ‘That all may be one’. One what. Or just one. Lord have mercy on us. We are far from being one anything!
  2. I wonder if a flow chart could be drawn from vs 21-23: Father -> In Jesus -> Jesus -> in the Father -> ‘they’ in Jesus and the Father. Then also The Father’s glory -> the Son -> ‘them’. These need to link together into ‘one’.
  3. Flow chart also in v26 World -/> Father but Jesus knows -> Father -> Jesus makes the Father known -> ‘these’ know <- Jesus makes the Father’s name known = Love is in ‘them’. Well, this helped me!
  1. What right hand side of the brain thinking might I find surprising or challenging in this passage?
  1. Once doing confirmation with some sporty youngsters, I asked them to do a dance/mime/actions to depict the Trinity. Then I asked them to add ‘them’ v23. Many did a circle of love with ‘them’ in the middle. These verses feel like a verbal dance. May our preaching capture that sense of being enclosed in God’s love.
  2. We are praying as suggested by the Archbishops for ‘them’ to come to know Jesus. That sense of involving others as children, girls particularly, do in the games at school. Do you want to play? Come and join us.
  3. What does this love ‘which you have loved me’ v26 feel like? Is it strengthening? Jesus knows who he is and what he’s called to do. Like a huge rock of stability of who I am? And I’m called to be?
  1. What might I preach about – living in suburban Kidderminster.
  1. We are doing as requested by our Archbishops – prayers for renewal. Why is this important now?
  2. The church I’m preaching at is ‘tired’ – few people working to keep the church open. We need refreshment from the Holy Spirit big style.
  3. The West Midlands has few practising Christians than any other part of England. May we go and show your love.
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