After Jesus finished saying this, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that the Son may give glory to you. For you gave him authority over all people, so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him. And eternal life means knowing you, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you sent.’ (verses 1-3)
Read John 17:1-11
He was a self-made man for whom life had been tough. Yet he had battled his way through it. Now his cancer was running wild, and he had only a few days to live.
I’m not frightened’, he said. ‘I feel at peace.’
‘That’s wonderful’, I said.
His eyes, moist but calm, held mine.
‘I think I’m ready’, he said. He paused. ‘I hope I’m ready.’
‘What do you think makes you ready?’ I asked.
A thoughtful silence. Then he said, ‘Well, all my life I’ve had to do it the hard way, by myself. But this dying is something I can’t do by myself.’ Another pause. ‘However, all my life I’ve also heard how Jesus died for me. He has told me over and over that I am forgiven. I believe that makes me ready. I hope it does.’
‘It does’, I said. ‘You’re ready.’
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for facing your hour of death so that I might face mine with hope. Amen.
by Bob Kempe, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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