"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." John 14:15-21 These words, "Why have you utterly forgotten us, forsaken us for so long?" (Lam. 5:20) capsulizes the Book of Lamentations. Interestingly though, the following text from this book is the most quoted passage, "The LORD's acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent; They are renewed each morning - great is your faithfulness" (Lam 3:22-23). You may even recall hearing this verse in the hymn, "Great, is they Faithfulness." Nevertheless, with a proud affirmation about God's mercy and compassion, the author laments. He feels that God has forsaken him. We behave like the author of Lamentations in contrasting ways or much more like the disciples in John's gospel this Sunday. The disciples were on edge in last week's gospel. They failed to understand the meaning in Jesus' comment, "I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and LIFE." Jesus explained to the disciples that they should know Him by His works. They too forgot the mercy they witnessed:
The profound testimony of the Bread of Life;
Jesus' compassion in stopping the stoning of the adulterous woman;
The healing of the blind man's eyes; and
Jesus is calling Lazarus from the tomb.
Yes, the disciples are lamenting similar words, "Have you utterly forgotten us?" "How long will you be gone from us?" For this reason, this verse in John's gospel is powerful. Jesus speaks words of comfort to all who are lamenting during this quarantine season, or grieving the loss of a loved one, saying, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." Praise God! Jesus makes a promise that He will not leave us orphans. The word "orphans" in Greek means "fatherless." Jesus is promising that we will always have a heavenly "Father" to care for us. We will have everything we need to get through this season because God's mercy and compassion are never exhausted. Jesus and the Father are one with the Holy Spirit. We have the Blessed Trinity, three persons in one. We are not alone. Great is His faithfulness. Author: Evangelist Michael Howard, M.A.