'Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?'
One of the biggest revelations for me in the early days of my journey of faith was that rather than sitting on a cloud somewhere silently seething against me God was actually welcoming me in to everything I was looking for.
Day 28: John 14:15-31 The Spirit of Truth
'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.'
In this passage Jesus promises that he will send the Holy Spirit to be with his followers, his friends, when he is gone. The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a dove. This passage describes this intimate connection with God through his Spirit as an indwelling of peace.
Day 29: John 15: 1-12 Jesus, the Vine
'I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.'
There are two things that strike me here. One if that we are all connected by virtue of being connected to the one vine from which we are branches. Second that a branch broken off does nothing but fall to the ground. It is only by being part of the whole that it draws the strength and sustenance that it needs to survive and it is only by being connected to God that it has any life at all. According to this passage no man really is an island!
Day 30: John 15:12-27 Love One Another
‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.'
We've heard this before in John's Gospel which makes me think it is kind of important! We have heard that we are one, branches from the same vine and this is how we are to live together. Easy Peasy! Errr.....
Day 31: John 16:1-16 Guidance from above comes within
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.'
This picture of the Holy Spirit reminds me of one of my favourite poems by Emily Bronte called The Visionary. It reads, 'The little lamp burns straight, its rays shoot strong and far: I trim it well, to be the wanderer's guiding star.' I don't know about you but I'm a bit of a wanderer and I'm thankful to have the guidance described here.
Day 32: John 16: 16-33 Sorrow into Joy
'So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.'
Jesus talks about his death and the grief and sorrow that will overtake his friends. What a terrible conversation to have to have. But he also promises new joy, new hope, greater than anything they have ever felt before. Like bright yellow daffodils opening after the darkness of winter.
Day 33: John 17: 1-4 To Know God
'And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God'
I'm going slightly off the brief for this last entry by not posting a photo in a photo diary! But here's the thing: there is no image I can put here to really show God. Anything I do post will be one tiny angle on what is essentially uncapturable. So I'm leaving it blank and saying along with this passage - Go and know God for yourself, this is eternal life.
Back tomorrow for the last few days of the diary! x