Jesus promises the new creation that begins at Pentecost. We humans usually desire the fulfillment of promises sooner rather than later. Promises are all well and good, but what about today? we ask. Philip bluntly asks Jesus to show him and the others the Father. Exactly what Philip means by that is open to discussion. Possibly he desires to have the promises satisfied according to his timetable, not the divine plan.
Confusing our agendas with God’s will is more common than we might like to admit. Jesus offers us the same correction that he offered to Philip. “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.” In Jesus’ works we see the first signs of the new creation that will begin in earnest at Pentecost. Crea-tion obeys him. The hungry receive food. He lifts community restrictions on belonging as lepers are healed, the blind see, and the lame walk. People on the outside are lifted up and welcomed in—from women to children to foreigners. Such works bring forth the first rays of dawn of the new creation promised. Jesus invites us to live by his example and so ride the waves of God’s new creation and take part in bringing it to completion.
Jesus gives the disciples another promise. He promises that God’s intimate presence, the Holy Spirit, the power that motivated and directed the prophets, sages, and psalmists will come and live in them. Jesus will have returned to the Father, completing his work. We will do even greater works because we reveal the completed story of the Word made flesh in the new creation, thereby giving glory to God.
Jesus, Lord and Savior, allow me to see clearly who you are, allow me to see you clearly in other people, and allow me to trust your promises so completely that I take my part in bringing to fruition God’s new creation. Amen.