I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world
will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.
On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I
Imagine you’re driving in a car to a town you’ve long wanted to visit and to explore its many famous sights. But it seems to be taking you much longer to get there than you had expected; you’re beginning to get anxious. Did you take a wrong road, you wonder, or did you miss a turn? Then, to top things off you get a flat tire and you’re feeling discouraged. Finally, you’re so worried that you pull off at a gas station and ask the attendant for directions. The attendant looks surprised at your question, then smiles, saying, “You’re already here! You’re already where you wanted to be!”
I used to be like that anxious driver when it came to making my spiritual journey. I used to worry if I was doing it right and going the right way. When would I ever spiritually arrive? When could I rest in my destination? Then I heard Jesus’ wondrous words in today’s scripture. It was like hearing Jesus say, “Relax! You’re here! You’ve arrived at perfect oneness with me and Father!”
Today’s scripture comes as Jesus is about to complete His mission of bringing us to Father. At the Last Supper Jesus foretells “that day” when after His death, resurrection and ascension He will bring us to oneness with Him and with God the Father: “On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you”. Yes, on that day the fondest hopes and dreams of humankind are realized in Jesus Christ! That means that we dwell in Christ, Christ dwells in us, and we dwell in the Father through mutual indwelling in Christ. Jesus spells out in words oneness with God beyond our ability to figure out or comprehend, but we get to live in it!
In my anxious days of spiritual journeying I still thought of God as “Up There” and me “Down Here”. I was trying hard to please God and to serve Him. Then I saw that Christ lives in me and I live in Christ, meaning perfect union, or at-one-ment, with Christ and Father. I’ve arrived!
Although we cannot comprehend or fathom our oneness together with Christ, we can live out of it that incomprehensible oneness. As branches we are one with Christ the Vine, and His divine life flows through us (John 15:4-5). We get to say with the apostle Paul, “It is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Contrary to how legalists had warned me, God does not put His children on probation. God is not waiting to see how we perform before He lavishes us with love. God tells us that we are already, right now, “holy and blameless before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). Through His death Christ has presented us to Father “holy and blameless and irreproachable before him” (Colossians 1:22). Because we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we can hear Father saying, “You are my Child, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). We’ve arrived! Because of Christ, we’re already there! Enjoy!
Some years ago I took up as my mantra, my breath-prayer, the incredible last line of today’s scripture: “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” I like to slowly and silently repeat those words standing in line at the post office, driving down the freeway, or falling asleep at night. Prayerful meditation on these words of Jesus become the programing of my mind and the preparation for coming alive in Him!
Grace and peace,