Seventh Sunday of Easter
Here is a confession: I have not always been at ease when it comes to praying aloud with another human being. There’s an intimacy that comes with knowing someone else’s prayer needs, and an intimidation that comes with someone else knowing mine. To partner with someone in prayer is to be vulnerable, not only before God, but also before that other person.
Yet such vulnerability is what deepens and strengthens relationships. Without it, we are only acquaintances in this life. With it, we are sisters, brothers.
As the Gospel writer John tells the story, Jesus initiated several indelible memories the night before he was killed. He washed his disciples’ feet. He taught several quotable lessons on life and ministry. And he prayed. He prayed for them. And he prayed, intimately and vulnerably, for all those disciples who would come after them because of them. That is us! Jesus prayed, intimately and vulnerably, for us.
Jesus made himself our Prayer Partner. It’s as if he sits across from us on a metal folding chair in the church basement; walks alongside us through the prayer labyrinth; perches beside us on the edge of the hospital bed; accompanies us on the journey. And we do likewise with one another, Jesus’ prayer a benediction on our oneness.
Chris Johnson, Moravian pastor