Sixth Sunday in Easter
 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.  Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
 "I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.  In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;  for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father."
 His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech!  Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God."  Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?  Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:23-33 (ESV)
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. These things, What ever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you, In that day you will ask in my name, Behold the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered.
I guess there is a certain comfort in knowing what is going to happen, even if what is going to happen isn’t pleasant. Jesus with these last words prepares his disciples for his arrest, passion, and death, when they will be scattered. But he speaks of another day coming, a day we live in now, a day of resurrection and new life. A day when he would ascend to the Father, go to the Father. We celebrate that day on Thursday. Good day to fly kites. Some places have those traditions. I like traditions like that. Ascension day, go to church, then go fly a kite in honor of Christ.
We honor that day on Thursday, but we live in that day even now. Jesus has gone to the Father, and there is great comfort in that, knowing that if Jesus is with the Father, than he is with us even as the Father is with us. Yes, He is with us. That is the point of the Ascension that Jesus is with us. That of course is also what it means to have His name, to be able to ask in His name.
No longer is it incumbent upon us to travel to Palestine or wherever and ask Jesus to ask the Father. Jesus is with us even as the Father is with us, because Jesus is with the Father. So we ask in his name, we ask the Father in the name of Jesus.
Now the name is something we have. It was given to us by the work of the Holy Spirit who gave us life in Jesus name, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In essence the name that Jesus talks about here is not the word “Jesus”, but actually his very essence and being. This is what it means that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, three different named persons in Matthew 28:18-19, share the name, that is the divine essence and being. Jesus gives us his name, he gives us himself. When we ask of the Father in His name it is given to us. To ask in His name then means to ask for those things that are in align with his will and being, the two can’t be separated. To ask in His name is to be in Him.
“Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.” Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full. What is our joy? What is this joy that He is speaking of? Our joy is our faith in Jesus. Too many of us, too often look for joy in the things of this world. And so we are so often disappointed. We look for joy in our accomplishments, and they wane. How frustrating when a job well done, comes undone. When you plant and another eats. Vanity of vanity The Preacher, the great and Wise Solomon himself says of it, life in this world. Our joy robbed from us because we misplace it. How frustrating this life in this world of tribulation can be.
Not to say that there isn’t something to be said for enjoying the things of this world. What miserable creatures we would be if we didn’t find joy in the many earthly blessings the Father has showered upon us, family and friends, the love of a spouse who with you learns to love. But enjoying these things and finding joy in them are two different things. For these things not only bring us joy, but often come with a good deal of sorrow and pain, as death robs us of these things also. They cannot last. Ask that your joy may be full Jesus says. And our joy is in Him, because in Him, in His name is life itself, life that conquers and has conquered the world and death, overcomes the world and all that stands in the way of our life and joy in Him.
Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. Faith. Of course you have to then have faith already. Before you can ask in His name you must have His name. From faith to faith. Faith and joy, oh the faith of a mustard seed can do great things, especially when that mustard seed is watered, what a glorious tree it can thus become as Jesus reminds us (Luke 13). Ask and you will receive that your joy may be complete. What is this but an encouragement to do what the Disciples knew to do, as more important than anything else in Acts chapter 6, devote themselves to word and prayer, or as we commonly call it devotions. To meditate on God’s word, and converse with him in prayer, to grow in your faith, and find joy in Him. Nothing is rewarded more than time spent in God’s words, nothing is ever more a reward in itself. It tickles me pink to know I get paid for it. But it is there in his word that we find true joy and the fullness thereof, because it is in His word that we find Him and the Holy Spirit at work.
Now the peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.