They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them." John 14:21 NRSV
When we recall past places we have worked, it is likely what we remember best are not the tasks but the people. While I have only been "semi-retired" for a little over two years, I have already forgotten the projects, but I recall with clarity the names and unique connections with my colleagues and friends with fondness. They will forever be part of my life because of the personal bond and the platonic love we formed in working and building something together.
In John 14, Jesus gives his disciples a farewell speech. They had been with him for over three years and had done much together. Heartbroken and confused, they have many questions about what will take place. Why must their friend and rabbi need to go away? Who (what) is this Advocate that Jesus promises? How are they to receive this new special connection and not others? One of them, Judas (not the bad one), asked, "Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (v. 22-23)
Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is deeply personal. We could worship some detached idol–careers, cars, money, etc.-- but we receive nothing in return because they are temporary inanimate objects with nothing to give. Instead, we are called to have a personal relationship with a living God. Because we love the Son, the Father loves us also and shares a portion of himself with us in the Holy Spirit.
Triune God, we thank you for the personal connection you seek with each of us. Help us to be fully open and responsive to your love by obedience to your word. Amen.