Step 1: Prepare to listen (about 5 minutes). Return to your quiet space and calm down. When you’re ready, pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, speak into to my life today.”
Read John 12:27-36 (read slowly 2 or 3 times as you wonder about the details in the text).
27 ‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ 29The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ 30Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’ 35Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’ After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
Some background information
“This hour” is Jesus’ way of referring to his death—an ‘hour’ appointed by God and the reason why he came to earth.
The question that hovers over this text is a common one: What time is it? For the crowd, Jesus’ dialog ‘partner’ in this story, it was time for Jesus to act like Messiah by stepping up and leading Israel to victory over their enemy, the Romans. For Jesus it was time to glorify the Father by accepting ‘this hour’, a cryptic reference to his impending death. Therefore, Jesus warned, it was time for the crowd to walk in the light (the way of Jesus who is the light) and reject darkness.
What time is it? Is it time to demand that Jesus act as you want him to act, to fulfill your present desires and needs? Is it time to, like Jesus, let go and walk where the light will take us, perhaps even to suffering?
Respond to Jesus in prayer. Write your prayer response or pray the following prayer:
Lord Jesus, you set an example of willingly taking on the sufferings of ‘this hour’ for which you came, refusing to act as the crowd expected. Help me today to keep following you even though your ways are so not my ways and will often lead to the unexpected. Help me see and then walk in your light. And may all the glory go to you who lives and reigns with God the Father and God the Spirit now and forever. Amen.
Be silent and still (for as long as you want). Simply be in the presence of Jesus, who loves you, regardless.