Reflections: Saturday the Eve of Pentecost

May 27, 2023

Today’s Reading: John 14:15-21

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 20:22-21:9, Luke 20:45-21:19

John 14:15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my commandments”.  Faith, of course, is presupposed.  I guess that’s good…we assume Christians believe.  But also, when we take faith for granted, all that’s really left to talk about is what we want to come out of it.  We assume the most important part of what Jesus said, then leave all of the stress on something that wasn’t ever given to carry the weight.  We focus on the word keep.  We assume it’s ours to carry as obedience and call it proof we love God. The problem, of course, is that when this is our hope, our lack of obedience can really only be proof we hate Him.  

Don’t presuppose faith.  See it for what it is.  The gift of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost celebrates that.  God wants to speak and give good gifts to sinners.  He sends the Spirit to bring faith, to bring to remembrance the teachings of Good. Not just to know them.  To remember them. To love them. To treasure them.  That’s what keep means.  Keep isn’t measured in obedience but in love.  Love what the world loves not.  Love the cross and all it brings.  Love the place God puts to death all evil and saves you from yourself.  Love the life He gives that only comes on the other side of the tomb, but already belongs to you in your Baptism. And so love the commandments too, as they paint a picture of the Lord who saved you by fulfilling them in your stead and then dying that you would live.  

In the promise Jesus makes, you who love the Lord do treasure His words.  The word speaks and it shapes us. Each day it forgives, and each day it ties us to the great promise He makes us. The promise we cling to and keep because we love Him who has first loved us.  Rise. Let us go from here. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty and ever-living God, You fulfilled Your promise by sending the gift of the Holy Spirit to unite disciples of all nations in the cross and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. By the preaching of the Gospel spread this gift to the ends of the earth; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

-Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Jonathan Lackey is an LCMS seminarian.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.