Friday, March 21, 2008

“For my part, in this promise I believe – in the sole true catholicity of the Church of Christ, as destined to embrace all mankind – in the power of His Redemption, as something which no will can resist, to which all things must yield one day in perfect submission, love and harmony. I plead for the acceptance of this central truth as the great Hope of the Gospel, that the victory of Jesus Christ must be final and complete, i.e., that nothing can impair the power of His Cross and Passion to save the entire human race. I believe that He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. And I feel assured that less than a world saved, a universe restored, could not satisfy the heart of Jesus Christ, or the love of our Father. I ask all fair and reasonable minds to reject as immoral, and incredible, the picture of a heavenly Parent, Who, being absolutely free and absolute in power and goodness, creates any children of His own, whom He knows to be, in fact, certain to go to endless sin and ruin. Therefore in these pages I have pleaded for the larger hope. Therefore I believe in the vision, glorious beyond all power of human thought fully to realize, of a ‘Paradise regained,’ of a universe from which every stain of sin shall have been swept away, in which every heart shall be full of blessedness in which ‘God shall be All and in All.’ Amen.”

Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant

Hello bloggers! It's "Resurrection Weekend", spring is here, and on this GOOD FRIDAY, I speak GOOD things into your life...I say, in faith, that evidence of every GOOD and perfect gift from the Father of Lights will manifest into reality in your life today, because God is GOOD! On one level, it seems more fitting to be quiet, somber, and introspective on this day when we focus on the bloody sacrifice of the Lamb of God. But I can't weep for the cross today, because I know how this story ends...and ultimately it consummates in triumph! I love what this Friday represents, but every time I try to look at today's cross, I keep being distracted by visions of Sunday's empty tomb! But more about that in a few hours.

I really appreciate your input, and the exceptional feedback that I've received on the blog the last few days. This cyber-community consists of visionaries, Kingdom-seekers, creative writers, and excellent communicators...and the population is growing. You are a blessing to me, and I celebrate you all today.

It may have been more appropriate for me to publish John 17 yesterday, but my head was in a particularly different place in regards to Thursday's article (and thanks for hearing me, BTW), so I saved it for today's post. This chapter has been the subject of much debate, because we don't know specifically how John could have known in such detail what Jesus prayed, alone there in the garden. That's a debate I don't need to engage in, however, because this chapter is so awesome to me, regardless of its mysterious nature, that it is my favorite in John's gospel. I'm especially proud of the John In The Now version of it. Enjoy!


1. After Jesus had finished speaking to his disciples, He looked up toward the infinite sky and said, “Father, the time has come for You to bring glory to Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify You.
2. “You have granted Him full authority over all the people of the earth, and You have given them to Him so that He might give them all eternal life.
3. “And this fulfills the purpose of eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the manifestation of Your physical presence on the earth.
4. “I brought glory to You in this dimension by doing everything that You told Me to do.
5. “And now, Father, bring Me back into the eternal now, so that I may exist in the glory that We shared before the world began.
6. “I have told these men who have followed Me all about You. Their perception was limited, having been shaped by the current world’s system, but You gave them to Me and now they have been freed from the smallness of their previous mindset by obeying Your word.
7. “They know that everything that I have came from You.
8. “I just told them exactly what You told Me, and it convinced them that I came from You and that You sent Me here.
9. “Right now I am not praying for the whole world, but for those whom You have given to be My followers, because they know that they belong to You.
10. “All that I have is Yours, and all that You have is mine, and the glory of that connection has now included them in its manifestation.
11. “I will no longer remain in this dimension or in this physical incarnation, but they are still in the physical realm of space and time. I am returning to the eternal now to be reintegrated with and in You, but I pray, Holy Father, that You keep through Your name those whom You have given Me. I pray that, even though they continue to live and move in the physical world, they will be able to transcend its finite limitations and be one with each other, even as We are.
12. “While I was with them in the physical world, I kept them safe and intact in Your name. I carefully guarded them, and not one of them was lost to My circle of influence, except for that one who just seemed bent on destruction. But his rebellion only served to fulfill the Scriptures.
13. “I am on My way back into the eternal now, but I want to say these things while I am still in this physical incarnation. If I say these things as the Son of Man, it will make it possible for them to also say these kinds of things, so that they can know the joy of being manifested as Sons of God.
14. “I have told them Your message, but they are hated by those mental prisoners of the world-system, because they don’t belong to that system in any way, just as I don’t.
15. “Father, I don’t ask that you take My followers out of the world, because it would defeat the entire purpose of My coming here if You should allow them to become escapists. I only pray that they be kept safe from the phantom menace.
16. “They are misfits in this world – strangers to its present mindset – just like Me.
17. “So let them find shelter in the truth of Your word; it is the only place where they can live now that they have been with Me.
18. “As You sent Me into this dimension, I am sending them into it – into the fullness of it.
19. “I have given Myself completely for their sake – becoming absolutely absorbed into them – so that they may become absolutely absorbed into the truth.
20. “But I do not pray for these alone…these who know Me as I am, here and now. But I pray for those everywhere and in every dimension of time, including those in the future, who will ultimately believe in Me through their witness and their word.
21. “And I pray that they all may be one in the now...all around this world of yours, not just the ones here in this time and place. Make them all one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. Integrate them as You and I are integrated – unified, in harmony, inseparable.
22. “I have actually given them the glory that You gave Me, so that it would be possible for them to be one, even as We are.
23. “I have become one with them in the same way that You are one with Me, so that they may become completely one. This unification – this melding and merging of separate entities into a perfect oneness – is the thing that will ultimately show the whole world that You sent Me. They will all see that You love My followers as much as You love Me.

24. “Father, I truly want everyone You have given Me to be with Me…wherever I am…so that they will see, first-hand, the glory that You have given Me because You loved Me in the now…before the world of space and time was created.
25. “Righteous Father, the people of the world at large don’t know the real You, but I know You, and now the ones who have followed Me know that You sent Me.
26. “And I have revealed You to them and will continue to reveal You through the coming manifestation of the Holy Spirit. I am committed to continuing this revelation so that your love for Me may be in them and that I, Myself, may be in them, as well.”

I welcome your insights.

And I would love for you to celebrate the Resurrection with me this Sunday. If you are a part of CITN, don't forget our beautiful SUNRISE SERVICE on the hill by the lake at 7AM...and then our anointed worship experience at 10. If you are a part of cyber-CITN, I trust that you will be logging on (if you just got here and don't know what I'm talking about, go to and check out how to stream the services live over the internet)...if you have connected with me through this blog and, as a result, come to church Sunday, please introduce yourself. I'll be meeting and greeting at the West entrance of the building in the narthex after the service.

And remember on this GOOD FRIDAY that IT'S ALL GOOD!!!


HollyC said...

Good morning Bishop.. Happy Resurrection Weekend to you too!

John In The Now Chapter 17 ..

WOW! What a great way to kick off a wonderful weekend. You are such a fabulous writer. I'm sooooo looking forward to the sunrise service and the worship service Sunday.. See yall there!

peacemaker said...

I've read the JITN version of this particular passage several times in the past but I've got to tell you, there's something that happens to the story when read here. Maybe all the elements that have come together to create this blogosphere illuminate the myriad of nuances that make your version so much more real than the others. John in any translation is certainly the most "cosmic" of the gospels anyway.
I have my opinion about the dating, authorship, and literalness of the gospel but who cares. All that matters here is the deep meaning that is ascribed to Jesus as he petitions His Father for the consummate Oneness of His disciple and ultimately all of humanity.
All the while knowing what was coming in just a few short hours, he made sure all business was finished. All loose ends connected, all stones overturned. Greater Love had no man... Such a man. Such a son of man. Such a friend and such a brother.

"Amazing Love, how can it be, that you my Friend would die for me"

Have a peace-filled weekend and remember: bear your cross today if you must, but know, Sunday always comes!


DoubleBack Alley said...

Sahib, got called in to manage a few accounts. It's all good. I get holy day pay. My daughter came through without even the smell of smoke. A most special thanks.

Spring is renewal and that is the beauty of Easter. I know all the controversy that surrounds the celebration. Frankly, it’s another of the things that tires the besmack out of me about religion. It really is about rebirth. There is something about the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox. Nature declares it as a time to prepare, plant, and prime the good earth. Those who argue are Captain Queegs looking for strawberries. Old Man Potter sits in the pulpit nickel and diming his congregation like a scurvy little spider. Sorry Sahib, Harvey made me say that.

Easter is as Easter was in Jesus day; a Cypriot, Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Mycenaean, Assyrian (goddess Ishtar-talk about movies), and Indian incarnations that celebrated life. Many different names, same purpose. Rebirth, renewal, regeneration.

Peace to the inner child of the great Sahib. I finally found the cover to the Rutles album. That's the genesis of Doubleback Alley. It was one of my favorite skits on SNL in the 70's. Harrison and Python, Monty parlayed the tongue in cheek into a fairly successful run. Their affectionate pastiche spoofed all of the Beatles moods and modes of music. They even sent up the Anthology collection with their "Archeology" showing the Rutles as older, balder, and a slight more paunchy. Neil Innes is a genius. I love it.

So Sahib, as I manage accounts, I think of reinvigorating my hope for us all, even the nutritionally challenged arachnids (trying harder even now not to be mean). I celebrate the ancients who saw the joys of nature before the incarnate Jesus was able to teach us how lilies spin not, but most of all I celebrate with your inner child that there is an Easter Egg hunt somewhere that bodes well the coming of an Easter basket (real wicker with splinters and all) chocked full of rainbow colored candies and sinfully dark chocolate that is mine; all mine.

Happy Easter to my loved ones. “And I pray that they all may be one in the now...all around this world of yours, not just the ones here in this time and place. Make them all one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. Integrate them as You and I are integrated – unified, in harmony, inseparable.”

Thank you for your kind words. From one seer to another….

Ain’t God Good?

Lise said...

Just a little something from the wee morning hours. Couldn't come up with a title...

No knock necessary; the door swings wide.
Beyond the threshold... revelation...
In word, rhythm, rhyme.
Azure sky, atmospheric expose,
Awakens spirit clouds... billows of softness
To bed-down angels fatigued from ascent and descent.
Hope is the ladder of cherubim.

Rest well, sweet celestials, in preparation.
Wrestle flesh and blood, principalities, powers,
And ALL of that...
For ALL of us...
As humanity's ally in earthly battle.

Beauty graces every flower;
Hope flutters on the wings of the cardinal, the blue jay,
The smile of a friend.
The configuration of divinity is elusive -
Left to the Holy Three.
Yet, on a sacred plane, I MUST believe
I AM Him, He IS me, we ARE we.

copyright LSP 2008
* expose = x-po-zay (don't know how to do the accent marks)

Anonymous said...

Still pondering the mandate, but PM, I also had the same "there's something that happens to the story when read here" response.

"Good" Friday. I think the day-namers got the best name for this one!


Iris said...

Love this blog Bishop…

Love John 17… It is all about God showing us His unfailing divine love… Since the beginning of time… He has and always will show us love… This has been and always will be His quest…

As I look back in the scriptures I remember the many messages He sent to us to remind us of His undeniable, indisputable love…

“Abram, you will father nations! Oh, and Abram, remind the people I love them…”
“Moses, you will deliver my people! And Moses, tell the people I love them…”
“Joshua, you will lead the chosen ones! And Joshua, tell the people I love them…”
“David, you will reign over the people! And David, tell the people I love them…”
“Jeremiah, you will bear tidings of bondage! But Jeremiah, tell the children… Tell them that I love them…”

Alters… Sacrifices… Repenting… Romance… Tablets… Judges… Pillars… Bloodshed… Wars… Kings… Giants… Laws… Hezekiah… Nehemiah… Hosea… God watching… Never turning… ever loving… yearning for the unreserved complete love of the Garden again…

Humanity began in the Garden… and hours before God completed His ultimate finishing quest … declaring again His love to all mankind… He found Himself back in a Garden…

The choice… “Whose will?”… Tearstains mingle with bloodstains…

And again we see a tree… Relationship restored… Bridge erected…

The moment… God Himself declaring again His undeniable love to His bride…

Proclaiming…I LOVE YOU!!! I LOVE YOU!!! I LOVE YOU!!! More than life itself… more then death can claim, and a grave can hold… He screams…. I LOVE YOU!!!

”Father, I truly want everyone you have given to be with me… wherever I am…so that they will see, first-hand, the glory that You have given Me, because You love Me now, before the world of space and time was created.” (John 7: 24, JIN)

What a passionate love story He has bestowed on us… better than any romance novel anyone has ever written… And this love story… has it happy ending, Bishop… for lack of better words… or maybe it should be put… it has its happy eternity…

Thank you so much for this blog “sight”… for every day we see Jesus in a new way, through each person who blogs here… Thank you everyone!!!… I love you all… I love all of the aspects of God that you show us every day… and through this “sight”… all will see HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!!!


Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Wow, the Knights of this Round Table are in excellent form today! Seriously…excellent work, everybody.

Holly, your happy greeting was the first thing I read this morning…started the day off right…

Thanks, Peacemaker…your stamp of approval on JITN is important to me…

DBA, your post reminds me of my Easter message from last year (can’t believe it’s been a year, already! Where does the time go?). The movie references…so cool…like having Robert Osborne from TCM on the blog. I’m sure I’ve seen every SNL (from the very first one in ’75) but I gotta go back and find that sketch somewhere to be reminded…don’t let this damage our relationship, but I never saw Life of Brian or The Rutles (saw Spamalot on Broadway last year…hysterical)… I have a sense of humor about everything except for Jesus and the Beatles…those subjects are off-limits…can’t go there.

But now that I know that’s where your blog name came from, I have no choice but to reconsider…this blog challenges all comfort zones!

Good stuff, LPnSC…

Hey, Avatar…

Beautifully crafted, Iris…

Enjoy the company of all here…

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

And Knat Kat, I don't know if you meant to do it, but your Good Friday piece was posted under "God Is In The Now"...

Anonymous said...

Iris: I especially loved your list of the called--their "you will..." AND, [insert name] tell the people I love them. Deeply powerful, especially reinserting their name a second time. Mmm-mmm.

Also, easy to IMAGINE the names of everyone here added to the list!

Say that, Bishop! Messin' with the Beatles, now, DBA, that's holy ground! We love ya anyway, but...

Donald said...

Ok, Ok, check this out,....Jesus and the Beatles walk into a bar, and,..............J-u-u-s-s-t-t kidding!
I wish I could be at the services Sunday, but the kids are gonna' be back home again this weekend (one of them is already here) and I don't think they will want to spend their Sunday traveling, except to get back to school. But I will be watching at 9:00 as I drink my coffee and wear my pajamas and fuzzy slippers.

DoubleBack Alley said...

Easy folks, no one loves the Fab Four more than me. Speaking as the Fifth Rutle, let me assure you that they were ecstatic that Idle, Palin, Innes, et al, were casting daisy-tipped darts at the Beatle persona. George Harrison had so much fun with it that he played the part of a reporter in the Lorne Michaels production of "All You Need Is Cash" for the BBC. I beg your indulgence for this magical mischief tour.

Sahib, your comparison of me to one Mr. Robert Osborne works on so many different levels. What must it be like to critique the greatest movies of all time with fellow filmophiles? I treasure his opinion so much that I endured Lawrence of Arabia just because he recommended it. Great movie but a one-timer. You know what I mean?
I can't believe anyone else even knew he existed. He knows I exist as a result of the restraining order.

I love cutting up here, this has been a real refreshing for me today. Had to keep an eye on contractors all day and that is not as exciting as it sounds. Anyway, it looks like their work is not yet complete for the day, so I will have to be here, yet again, on Saturday. Look forward to seeing all of the Blogadeers tomorrow.

Sahib, if you get a chance, get a copy of the Barbara Stanwyck movie, "Baby Face". One of Mr. Osborne’s favorites. It pre-dates the morality code and is quite the story of 1933 American business.

See you at the movies.

Ain't God Good?

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Donald, I never write "LOL", but that's what I just did...make sure they're nice pajamas...remember, it's Easter (and to everybody else within driving distance, don't let him influence you to stay home and do the same!!!)

DBA, I know the Beatles liked the Rutles...c'mon, this is me! Do you know what sitcom pilot R.O. was in?

Anonymous said...

I didn't know, although I probably should have. I will bow to the masters and have fun watchin'.

Walkin' by the Spirit.

Heads up, DBA. Bishop is the scrabble and trivia master of the universe!

DoubleBack Alley said...


Scrabble, I wouldn't even try, trivia maybe, but does he do crosswords (Sunday NY Times)? Me and Robert love them.

Ya'll (sp?) are so crazy.

Ain't God Good?

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Avatar, truth be told, Chuck Longino beat me once, sometime back in the 90's (although I had a temp of 102 that night); and a few years later Jared beat me when we were on a missions trip in Peru. He never lets me forget it.

But, outside of that, yes, that is my official title. Sadly, though, it's lonely at the top. No one ever wants to play me.

DoubleBack Alley said...

Don't hold me to this, but it seems like R.O. was in the Beverly Hillbillies. I think he spoke of it one time when he was introducing a Reagan flick (maybe a bonzo epic with a cast of thousands of second bananas). Irene Ryan was in it and he talked about what an honor it was to work with her. She remembered him later and recommended him for a part. It seems like he turned down a shot as Sonny Drysdale (God was Louis Nye funny or what?). I may be wrong.

Donald, that was so funny that when the paramedics revived me, I almost relapsed trying to retell the joke. Awesome.

Sahib, on a serious note, what is the day before Easter called? I never really knew there were different named days for the Easter celebration. "Maunday" keeps floating around in my head. I love the way it sounds. Very cool stuff today.

Anyway, I will be here tomorrow and I look forward to helping concoct the next meal with my SNL cyber mates.

I will be choppin bloggoli.

Ain't God Good?

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

You are correct. I'm impressed!

And, yes, I do the times (in ink, thank you, very much), but for some reason, USA Today's is harder for me (which doesn't make sense because it is written on a fifth grade reading level)

And it's y'all (as in you must not be southern!)

And the day before Easter is called Saturday.

Anonymous said...

O-M-G!!! That one will keep me LOL the whole night, Bishop!

Surely SOME glory can be found in saying "I was beaten by the Master of the Universe."

DBA, I'm southern (sort of) and I just learned I spell it wrong.

Crazy? Boom, boom, ain't [I think we spelled that one right, but I don't think Scrabble rules allow it. Durn.] it great?!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

...But I don't love R.O. enough to sit through Lawrence of Arabia. I tried the other day, but I just couldn't do it. But we were invited to the TBN premiere of "One Night With the King" (which wasn't bad, actually) a few months ago, and I was interviewed on the red carpet about it afterwards. A couple of famous Bishops were asking the questions, and I pointed out that it was cool to see Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif from LOA in it, and they just looked at me blankly, and then someone cut the tape so that it wasn't aired. Whatever.

All right...I can't play any more!I'm working on my sermon for Sunday and trying to write a couple of letters that needed to go out yesterday. I've got to get this finished. Everybody, stop being enjoyable and interesting!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Hey DBA, I'm back for a minute and I wanted to say that I didn't mean to sound sarcastic in answering your legitimate question about the day before Easter. In the East, the day before Palm Sunday is called Lazarus Saturday, but I don't know why there isn't a name for the day before Easter. Maybe I'll write something about it for tomorrow's post.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Correction! It's called Holy Saturday!

Ebony said...

First off, that passage of JITN was one of the most beautiful passages I've ever read. Bishop you have a way with words that's very rare, especially when what you write is a labor of love. I feel like I'm there with Him in the garden, feeling his anguish of the coming cross, his tearful plea for them to be ONE. The true desire of His heart, even now two millenia later. And the way you captured it is almost Shakespearean. Incredible. This was an old post on my blog I wrote 2 years ago Easter Weekend 2006:

"My Redeemer Lives"

Ever since I was a child, I loved Easter, at some times more than Christmas, the baskets, the new dresses, the new hairdo, the eating cardbury eggs until I puked (only once). It's a holiday of things becoming alive, new, reborn. Once I became a Christian the love for the holiday grew to a whole different level. It is the definitive marker and cornerstone of my faith, the observance of an act that sets Jesus Christ apart from Mohamed, Moses, and Buddha. While He is a prophet, philosopher and teacher, He is so much more than that. He is the Risen Savior, conqueror of sin, death, and the grave. But above all of these, he is alive in me, "and life is worth the living...just because he lives"

Looking forward to both services Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Everyday is a great day!
My favorite day is Resurection Day! Such a beautiful season.
Your JITN version of Chapter 17...
AMAZING LOVE..He lives in you, He lives in me

Kettly said...


Yersterday,was just wonderful we've
a feast with some of our brother and sisters from Church(CITN) and my one of my sisters and her kids. We are so thankful to God for giving us the opportunity like that to share a meal with people we hold dear to our hearts.

Love, Kettly