Amy Jones,
Agape Coordinator
Dear God, we come to worship you today. 
We come to pray, and listen.
You always hear us. 
Help us to hear you. Amen
John 17:1-11

1After 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, 2since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

6“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. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for 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. 9I 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. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”
When I would teach small children about Jesus’s death and resurrection sometimes I would start with a lit candle and talk about Jesus bringing light into our world so that we could see things that were not obvious to us before. When I extinguished the light, I would do so dramatically so the children could see the ribbons of smoke diffuse into the air around us. The flame had gone out, but it was not gone. Now it was everywhere, all around us, even inside us as we breathed the essence of the candle.

A friend had made the attached slow motion video for her children’s sermon this week and I found the video so stunning that I watched it several times. It reminded me of all those times I had extinguished a candle for groups of expectant children. I had forgotten about this bit of magic. Of course, it isn’t real magic - the wax from the candle vaporizes and that’s what reignites the wick. Watching the video reminded me that the story doesn’t end with an extinguished flame. The triune God is never extinguished and is alighted in each of us.

In this final prayer before his execution, Jesus prays that we will be united in our diversity just as God is united in God’s diversity. Jesus includes all of us in his relationship with God. The light Jesus brought into the world cannot be unlit and it cannot be extinguished. It is alive in you and me. Even in the darkness, even when it seems like it is gone, the light is always there.
Light of the World, shine on in each of us. Give us the courage to believe in mystery. Awaken awe inside of us and slow us down to share the joy of reignited light. Amen.
Amy Jones
Amy Jones, Agape Coordinator
Amy Jones our Agape Coordinator is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. In this tradition, deacons are ordained clergy who bridge the ministry of the church with the needs of the world, and vice versa. In more than 15 years of ministry, she has worked in churches, in children and family ministry, higher education, and nonprofits. In each setting, her focus has been on matching the resources of the church with the needs of the world. Agape Community Kitchen is exactly the type of work she was called to do. 

Amy can be reached by email at:
The Presbyterian Church in Westfield continues to burn as a light in the darkness as our community weathers this fearsome storm of illness. Our reach of care continues to extend far beyond our immediate borders. You can help us make a real impact in the lives of others by joining in our work through your time, your talents, and also in the fruits of your labors.
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