Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:12-26; 1 John 5:9-15; John 17:11b-19
There are times in life when we all want to throw in the towel, cut bait, walk away. “This job, this project, this relationship is just…too…hard. I quit!” Now it’s true that calling it quits isn’t always a bad thing. We are justified in quitting a lesser good if it frees us up to pursue a greater good (e.g. giving up a volunteer position to spend more time with family). But the readings for this Sunday point us to some places where God’s Church should never quit.
The 11 apostles faced a watershed moment in the aftermath of Judas’ betrayal. Rather than be overcome by bitterness or cynicism (“We’re a failed church – we quit!”), they devoted themselves to prayer and trusted God to reveal his choice of a Gospel witness. God’s plan for our salvation will not be derailed by human failure! (Ac1)
In the Gospel reading Jesus prays to his Father on behalf of his followers. Whereas Christians may be tempted to remove themselves from a sinful and hostile world (“This place is a lost cause – we quit!”), Jesus says we are being sent into the world. Armed with God’s sanctifying Word, we have nothing to fear and nothing to lose. (Jn17)
The apostle John wants us to confident Christians! We can be confident that we have eternal life in Jesus, and we can be confident that God hears us when we pray. The baptism, the cross, and the miracle of Pentecost all testify that these things are true. (1Jn5)
When you feel like quitting, bring that struggle to God in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern the way forward.