St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times

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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Rogation Sunday 2015

These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. (John 16:25-27).
 
Implication?
His preaching has been veiled to some degree, even to his closest followers, but the teaching will soon be clearer.
 
When?
vv.22-23 say after the crucifixion and resurrection, And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
but it also refers to after the Ascension, as the Holy Spirit will then inspire them to unfold his previous teaching with greater clarity and with the new context of the Cross. vv. 13-15. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

So, amazingly, some of the richest teaching in the NT is not in the Gospels, but in the Epistles. This may sound blasphemous, as if we are saying the words of the Apostles are worth more than the words of our Lord. But, in fact, they are all the words of our Lord, whether from his mouth or not.
 
On the other hand, his preaching of the Gospel, precisely because it is often in parables, has layer upon layer of meaning and application. And, while the disciples tell him he is not speaking in parables in this instance, there is much in what he says here that will not be seen in its full significance till later.
 
Indeed, when he states that he is not saying he will pray the Father for them as the Father himself loves them, we have a perfect example of this. We are taught elsewhere that he does intercede for us, including in the same address on the same night in the same Gospel, e.g., And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 14:16), Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25). So what does Jesus mean? He has already said they will be praying in his name, so He means that their prayer is through him due to their loving faith, so that his prayer for them is in fact them praying in him, because they are united with him, and, through him, united to the Father. As the one called the Mediator, the link between God and Man, he intercedes by his presence with the Father, and his presence in us, as the Sacrificed one. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (Heb. 10:24-26) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Rev. 5:6).
Thus we are not to have some image in our minds of Christ perpetually repeating our prayers to the Father so he will deign to pay attention to them. No. The Father is not separated from us by Jesus, isolated in proud and stern splendour. He loves us and as we are in Christ, is with us. Even in tribulation. and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (vv.32b-33).

The more we become one with him in faith and love,
the more our prayer will simply be his prayer.

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