After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:1-3)
What strikes me in this difficult passage is the term “eternal life.” As I reflect on this, I realize that the gift of eternal life is experienced in the present, not something to be waited for or earned. It is in knowing the God of Jesus that we know eternal life — new life as it were. Eternal life is a present reality — living and being in God. Jesus set an example of living in the Eternal Now as he shared a healing touch, scolded money-changers in the temple, spoke a gentle word to children, made outcasts feel welcome. He lived into the ordinariness of life while embracing Eternal Life, and that is an example we can follow.
Dear and Eternal God, help us recognize your presence in and among us. Give us courage to follow the example of Jesus in the way we move in the world. Amen.
Janette Zercher — Friend, mother, learner