“‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.’” (NRSV John 14:18).
As I prepare for Sunday’s sermon, this one verse from John stands out. While the author of The Gospel of John introduces a familial relationship with the Divine, the apostle Paul reiterates the notion of being in God’s family and takes up the idea that we are truly more than adopted sons and daughters of God. The promise of being co-heirs with Jesus gives us a place of prominence in the Kingdom. God is our father. As God’s children, we can run into our daddy’s arms and are comforted and restored. It is in this place of shelter that we are home.
The idea of never being left alone is incredibly powerful. For me personally, this Biblical text has nothing to do with being a physical orphan. I have been blessed with two children and a great marriage that has lasted for over 18 years. The thought of being physically alone does not concern me. It is the feeling of being spiritually abandoned that grabs my attention.
When we begin a journey with Christ there is a sense of fulfillment. There is a security knowing that God has entered the deepest parts of our hearts. As time continues and we sometimes struggle in maintaining a relationship with God, there are times that the feeling of abandonment becomes real. There is something within our deepest core that cries out of a place of fear. There is a fear of being alone. There is a fear of being deserted. All of the sudden our security in Christ is met with a darkness of the soul.
Christ breaks the wall down by reminding us that we are never alone. Our creator will not leave us. There may be times that we feel lonely. Those times are real and often frightening. The good news or gospel is that we are never truly alone. The love of God transcends our emptiness and fills us with light. We feel the presence of the Divine. What once was darkness is now bright as the day.
May you be filled with God’s presence as we share brother and sister hood in the family of God.