Aloha Friday Message – March 13, 2020 – We still have work to do.

2011AFC031320 – We still have work to do.

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     John 4:3434 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete* [finish – τελειώσω teleiōsō] his work.
*This word is closely related to the word for “paid in full” – Τετέλεσται, (Tetélestai) {teh-TEH-les-tie} consummated, completely fulfilled; or to complete a process all the way through the final step which means everything that needed to be done has been done.

May Peace always be with you and may God bless you, Belovéd! It’s already going to be the 3rd Sunday of Lent! My goodness, time flies! Today we will sift through the Gospel of John and find a few of those skip-it verses – you know, the ones we think we know, we know we’ve read, but we never really registered what was going on. Our Key Verse is an example for me. That second half – and to complete his work – is one of those things that I usually slide past because I’m focused on the “important part” that says Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me. Today I invite you to look at the “other important part.” This one particularly caught my attention because of a very dear friend. We worked together ah Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital in Sacaton, AZ. We always call her “Mary Bee.” She’s always busy helping other people, was a night-tech in the lab there, and taught everyone in the lab how to do ceramics. Both of us are getting up there, and staying healthy and mobile is important; it’s something we have to work at. We have hobbies, and friends, and music, and family, and faith to work on. Instead of saying, “Oh, I’m so tired! I just don’t even feel like moving,” we are constantly telling each other “Be well. Stay mobile. We still have work to do. Luv ya!” So here’s the thing. You (hopefully) remember me quoting this aphorism: It’s always good in the end. If it isn’t good yet, it isn’t the end yet! If it isn’t the end, then that also means we still have work to do, stuff that God expects us to clean up before we disembark on that Long Slow Train Coming. God assigned us work – just like Jesus – and we need to keep chugging away at it until it is completed.

It was a big surprise to me to see how many times Jesus said he was doing the Work of God, the Work his Father – our Father – assigned to him. Take a look at these:

John 5:17 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.”

John 5:30 30 I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

John 5:36 36 But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.

John 6:38 38 for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

John 9:4-5 We must work the works of him who sent us while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

John 17:1b-10 1b “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. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.

What do you think of that? One thing is for certain, that completely blows away all those arguments about “Jesus never really knew who he was or why he was here.” Sometimes we try to apply that argument to our own lives – you know, the people who go out to find themselves and look in all the wrong places. God created us. God gave us gifts and talents, and they lead us to skills (things we do that we can learn and improve), knowledge (information we can acquire by study and reason), and abilities (natural traits that make what we do and what we know useful to ourselves and others.)

Jesus never gave up then, and he never gives up now. Can we say the same? We know he is with us, right? It’s sometimes easy to forget that if he is with us, we are with him. I’ve mentioned this numerous times – please, please, take a look at my essay on Contemporaneous Concomitance. It comes up just about every time I mention the Ascension. If you read that short essay you’ll know why my mind, and my heart and spirit, connect it to that extraordinary event in the earthly life of Jesus.

Jesus knew he had work to do. It was the work of his father. If I am with Jesus, I and also doing the work of my Father. I am Jesus brother. God is my Father. Mary is my Mother. The Apostle Paul is another brother from another era, an era which I have experienced with him spiritually in Jesus. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are El Shaddai-Olam who have come into this World to give us HIS Body which was given up for us (See Luke 22:19) and HIS Blood of the [New] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (See Matthew 26:28). At that First Eucharist, Jesus did the work God the Father asked him to do. What happened next? Was that the end of it?

Of course not! What came next was Gethsemane, the betrayal, the rigged trial, the false accusations, mockery, scourging, crowning with thorns, the wretched journey up Golgotha, the nails, the pain, the suffocating death, and the moment when Salvation became our reality. Jesus told us it would happen. After he finished describing the Judgment of the Nations in Matthew 25, we read – Matthew 26:1-2 1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” It happened, just like that, just like he said he would, and we were on his mind because HE did it for us. As he hung there on the Cross in tremendous suffering, fastened by not only nails but also by incomparable eternal Love, he loved and loves us until he has paid the last scintilla of the punishment for our sin. Do you remember?

John 19:28-30 28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

What have we already seen in this essay about the word “finished?” Let’s repeat it from the Key Verse and put it here as a reminder: to complete* [finish – τελειώσω teleiōsō] his work.
*This word is closely related to the word for “paid in full” – Τετέλεσται, (Tetélestai) {teh-TEH-les-tie} consummated, completely fulfilled; or to complete a process all the way through the final step which means everything that needed to be done has been done. THAT is what he came to do. THAT is the work God the Father gave him to complete. But wait! There’s MORE! God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – gave us work to do. Good work, Holy work, earthly work, important work, necessary work. If we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us, our food is to do the will of Him who gathers us and to complete our work. What is the work that is the will of God for us to do?

Matthew 28:16-20 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We have plenty to do! “Be well. DO GOOD. Stay mobile. We still have work to do. Luv ya!”

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd! Let me be your servant (↔ Music Link) by serving HIM who Loved us to his Death. (↔ Music Link)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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