COLLECT OF THE WEEK
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. - Book of Common Prayer, p. 218
In today’s reading from John 8, Jesus states: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” These words – “I am” – were the ultimate proclamation that He was indeed the Son of God who was sent to take away the sins of the world (remember that when God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, He said “I am who I am”). This startling boast of Jesus led those that heard it to accuse Him of blasphemy and to pick up and cast stones at Jesus in an effort to kill Him.
This proclamation of Jesus that led His persecutors to attack Him, teaches us something rather simple about the Christian way of doing things the right and the good way, even if it is not always the popular way. For example, consider that we are called to be honest, telling the truth, because we are truthful; we love, because we are loving; we have mercy on each other, because we are merciful people…like Jesus, we are motivated from within, regardless of others’ reaction.
These tendencies of what make us do things the right and good way may not always be the easiest thing for us to do: sometimes we might even struggle to get there, but in the end we choose to do the right thing. I propose that this is because the nature of doing these good things is a characteristic of Jesus' disciples, and we do these things without caring how we will be perceived or judged by others.