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Sixth Sunday After Easter – May 22, 2022

Sixth Sunday After Easter – May 22, 2022

John 16:23-33 “In that day you will ask nothing of me” (Jn. 16:23). “That day” is the disciples’ day of rejoicing (see verse 22).

Until that day, they will have grief and sorrow but when “that day” arrives their heart will rejoice and the joy they have then will be invulnerable: no one will take it away. The text has some built-in confusion because the English word “ask” is used to translate the Greek word “erotesete” in verse 23 and also the Greek word “aitesete” in verse 24. While both Greek words hold a meaning that can encompass “prayer request,” the “ask” of verse 23 also holds the meaning of “request for clarification.” So, perhaps, a different translator’s choice for verse 23 would read “In that day, you will have no more questions for me.” This whole section of text from John 16:17 until John 16:33 has Jesus dealing with the disciples’ confusion. They are confused because Jesus moves freely between their current situation and what the eschaton will deliver unto them. Jesus eventually relieves their confusion in verse 16:33 by saying “In me you will have peace. In the world you will have trouble and suffering but take courage—I have conquered the world.” Life in this world entails suffering and trouble causing us to make many requests to God in the name of Jesus. Worldly suffering and trouble will not be resolved until that day when Jesus’ comes, our hearts rejoice, and our joy will be complete, as Jesus promised.

Prayers from one who would rather have the suffering end now and the joy come immediately…

Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son tells me to ask of you in his name so that is how I will come to you. Father, grant me relief from my impatience, be my strength in the midst of my suffering, and so make the anticipation of joy all the sweeter. In the name of Jesus. Amen

Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son tells me to ask of you and I will receive. Father, enlighten me through your Word as your Holy Spirit uses it upon me so that I no longer see through a mirror quite so dimly. In the name of Jesus. Amen

Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son tells me to ask of you in His name and so I ask for a clean and strong heart to endure the tribulations of this world… make it be Jesus’ heart for my heart, no matter how strong, will never have victory over the world. In the name of Jesus. Amen

Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son tells me to love my enemies without thought of recompense while I only want to love those enemies so that burning coals are heaped on their heads. Forgive me. In the name of Jesus. Amen

Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son tells me that I should love my brother… love my sister… as he has loved me. Forgive me when I want to love those brothers and sisters of mine with the meagerness of my sacrificial love rather than Jesus’ sacrificial love. In the name of Jesus. Amen

Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son tells me that I should go and bear witness to him, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Grant that the Institute of Lutheran Theology is a place to bear such witness. In the name of Jesus. Amen

Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son has given me a prayer, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” Grant me the patience to suffer until I know joy in the day of that prayer’s fulfillment. In the name of Jesus. Amen