by Carolyn Ehrlich
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Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master’ (John 15:20a).
In our secular world, we are encouraged to believe that when we are on the right path, the world conspires to help us. When we do what is consistent with our life’s journey, we will be satisfied and successful. We are the masters of our own destiny. But, in today’s reading, we are given a very different perspective about what it means to be on God’s path, doing the work that God has planned in advance for us to do.
As servants of God, as brothers and sisters of Jesus, we do not belong to the world. We have been chosen out of this world. And the world will hate us because of that. The world will persecute us because of Jesus’ name and hate us for no reason (verse 25).
So, my question today is to ask whether we are on God’s path or the path of this world? If we are not being persecuted, we might not be on God’s path. Scarily, we might be oblivious and ignorant to the one we are on, especially if we feel comfortable.
In some work that Will Mancini and Warren Bird have written, I am reminded that God has a long-term vision and that we need to rise above our very short-term perspectives and think about what is going on in long time frames. We need to rise above our short-term desires for comfort in this world and become uncomfortable with the longer-term trends that are visible when we look. We need to be the hands and feet of God in this world.
So, what do we need to do? In verse 27 of today’s reading, we are reminded that we must testify. Testify, bear witness to Jesus’ name, do the work that God has planned for us to do and be prepared to be hated by the world for the work we do. I don’t find this easy to think about. Do you?
Father God, through Jesus, you speak to me. Thank you for giving me your word, and thank you that your word is truth. Thank you for giving me your Son and Holy Spirit to teach and guide me. Help me to be your hands and feet. Help me to bear testament to your name and truth. Show me what you need me to do, and help me recognise that the world will hate me because of what I do in obedience to you. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.