On Pentecost (Feast of Weeks, 7x7), fifty days after Passover, Jews celebrates God's gift of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Luke says on that Jewish Feast God poured out the Holy Spirit on His people. If Ascension Thursday means Jesus is really gone, then Pentecost means the Holy Spirit is really here.
In John 14:8-14, Phillip says to Jesus, "Show us the Father." We all desire to see the Father, whether we know it or not. Every desire comes from longing for the Holy Three. Every empty place within us is the space for encounter with the Lord. Jesus replied, "Philip, if you see me, you see the Father." In a pluralistic society, many want to marginalize Jesus, reducing Him to one of the many ways to God. It is offensive to non-Christians to say too much about Jesus. I disagree. I think it is impossible to say too much about Him because Jesus and the Father are one.
And what He says next is the foundation of ministry:
"Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me... Very truly I tell you the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do, and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name."
"Faith" is not just thinking its true; faith is trusting and entrusting ourselves, body, soul and spirit to this Truth. The Holy Three in us and we in them. It means saying from my heart, "I trust God has come to us, and to me, in Jesus. I surrender myself to the Father in Jesus and open to the Holy Spirit. I trust that God, the Three in One, lives in me."
Loving Faith and Trusting Love is a radical gift of myself which empties me of me to make room for the Holy Spirit. We continue the ministry of Jesus because the Lord lives in us...
"you will do the same works as me, even greater, because I am with the Father.... if you ask in my Name."
But this promise has a focus. "if you ask In my name"
"In my name" has come to be understood as the magic word. We can say "in Jesus' name" without being in Jesus Name. We pray "Father I want my wishes to come true, in Jesus Name. amen" Then are saddened and disappointed with the outcome. In prayer our outward form is fine but the key is the inward reality. To ask in Jesus Name is not just saying the words "in Jesus Name." To ask in Jesus Name is literally to ask in unity with Jesus. Name and Person are interchangeable in the ancient understanding. Jesus Name is Jesus. It is another way of saying "if it be your will." And what we ask for is to do the "works" of God. This is the prayer which is always answered. The works of God are aligned with salvation, healing, rescue---abundant life!!!
When I ask in Jesus I am asking in conjunction with His mission and ministry: the works of the Father. I am praying with the same unity He has with the Father. That is why Jesus does signs and wonders--His unity with the Father make Him a conduit of the power of God. In faith, in trust, in union with Jesus the same power is available through us. Faith-Trust-Entrusting love commitment is the open door for God's light and love and life giving power to surge in and through us.
I can think of few promises of Jesus which are more wonderful or more amazing:
If you believe you will do the same works, even greater works than me--if you ask in my Name.
I want to believe and do His works. Do you?
I want our parish to be a church of believers. Do you?
I want to live in Jesus' Name so He can do this. Do you?
Are we hungry to do the works of God?
Do we trust Jesus wants to do them here and now?
Do we want the Holy Spirit to fall on us so we can boldly proclaim the Gospel?
We can ask right now in Jesus Name:
"I want to be holy. I want you to live in me and your works to flow out of me.
We believe the Father is in Jesus and that Jesus is in the Father. We believe we are chosen, holy and beloved. We ask in Jesus Name so the works of God will be manifest in us.
Are you ready for your life to sound like a Bible story?
If you believe, ask in Jesus Name, and receive---then it will.