Friday, April 6, 2012

Jesus Prayed for Me

This week is Semana Santa (Holy Week) here in Mexico and as in many countries around the world, it is an important time to celebrate the passion and crucifixion of Christ.  Since all schools are on vacation this week (and next), we are taking a school break along with our friends (although we may have to start back to school next week).

Semana Santa is a time when most Mexicans travel somewhere...back home to visit their families, take a sightseeing trip, to the beach or maybe to spend a day or two at a balneario (swimming pool/resort).  Miguel is the only one in our family who is traveling as he is taking another trip the mountains this weekend and will have the privilege of attending a baptism of some new Totonac believers today in a mountain river. Then he will go spend a few days in Cuautotola, the town where our Mexican church has its Totonac outreach.

Miguel in the sierra (mountains)

This morning, I sat down with the kids and together we retold the story of Jesus' death, burial, resurrection and ascension as told in John 16 through Acts 1, with a few added details from the other gospels.  A couple of things that stood out to me in this story is first how Jesus took the time to more clearly explain to his disciples what was coming for them, even though they had a hard time understanding what he was trying to say (and they wouldn't really understand until later)...

Jesus went on to say, "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me...very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."

It was fun to imagine the disciples' joy when they realized that Jesus had truly risen from the dead!

Then Jesus goes on to pray for the disciples, continuing to bless and encourage them, but he didn't stop there...then he prayed for me!

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me (that's me! and you, too, if you also believe) through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one--I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 

Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.  I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." 

I am not sure why, but it was comforting to me today to read Jesus' prayer for all believers and know that even during a time such as the one he was facing, he was thinking of people like me.