“If you rake, you get leaves. If you dig, you get diamonds.” – John Piper
I attended a board meeting at the Simmons YMCA this morning. The meeting began with an earnest exhortation to thoroughly embrace the mission of the YMCA. So I decided to dig deep into the history of the YMCA to discover the origin and essence of the mission. Here are the original emblems/logos of the YMCA:
In order to thoroughly understand and embrace the main mission of the YMCA I decided to rigorously invest some time excavating the 17th chapter of John’s Gospel (specifically verses 1-26). Here’s what I found:
17:1a – What’s happening in this portion of John’s gospel? An intimate and personal conversation between eternal Father and eternal Son is taking place. We are being invited to eavesdrop on the Lord’s prayer!
17:1b – The main topic of conversation is: The Glory of the Son of God.
17:2a – The Son celebrates that the Father has given Him absolute authority, and it is exceedingly glorious for the Son to have absolute authority.
17:2b – This authority is specifically used by the Son to extend eternal life to all the adopted members of God’s family (the children of the Father/the body members of the Son’s wife).
17:3 – The Son clarifies that eternal life is to KNOW God (…not merely ‘know about’ God, but to personally and experientially KNOW God).
17:4 – The Son boasts in the reality that His glory is to be the Author and Perfecter of genuine faith and fellowship with God …Faith specifically, exclusively, and absolutely anchored in His accomplishment of perfection on behalf of His wife, and His insistence on infinitely atoning for His wife’s wickedness.
17:5 – The Son speaks of an amplification of enjoyment in the triune oneness of God. There is an emphasis on exponentially entering and enjoying God’s eternal rest and recreation.
17:6a – The manifest trailhead for this experiential journey up/into the mysterious mountain of KNOWING God is the Son incarnate. Jesus of Nazareth (the carpenter’s son, the rabbi with a reputation of befriending sinners, sex workers, gluttons, thieves, and drunkards) is the exact imprint of the nature of God. If you want to see what God is really like, then looking at, and leaving all to follow, Jesus is the path you need to take.
17:6b – The entire journey is overseen and orchestrated by the sovereign Son of God.
17:7 – The pilgrims on this narrow path participate in the journey as those who know that the Son occupies the place of ultimate authorship over and amidst their entire story of adoption, and the ensuing adventure of belonging to the family of God.
17:8a – What is the most prized possession of the pilgrims? The Worthwhile Words of God.
17:8b – What makes these Words so worthwhile? They are TRUTH, and they specifically and relentlessly speak to the reality that the Son has been SENT.
17:9&10 – The Son emphatically says what He wants: that the adopted children of God/His infinitely atoned for bride would irrevocably BELONG to, and experience the eternal joy of, the triune God.
17:11 – The Son clarifies that God’s family is inescapably living in EOT (enemy occupied territory) for the time being.
17:12 – The Son confirms that God’s family has perfect security detail while living in EOT …the Word of God is the indispensable and infallible protection of God’s people.
17:13 – The Son relishes the mystery of His joy being fulfilled in His people.
17:14a – What is the most stabilizing and satisfying reality for God’s people living in EOT? The Word of God.
17:14b – What, specifically, does the Word of God do for God’s people? It provokes the hatred of the world. The world wars against the Word of God, and the worshippers of God’s Word, because the values and choices of the Word and its worshippers disrupts the priorities of consumerism, individualism, relativism, commodificationism, dehumanizationism, unformityism, and darkness.
17:15 – The Son emphasizes that His wife is indeed stationed, and secure in, EOT (e.g. like Denzel in the “Book of Eli”).
17:16 – The Son talks about the true identity of the Word worshippers (they are the wife of, and co-heirs with, the Son; they are the fully adopted children of the Father, and as such they are eternally and irrevocably treasured by the Father; they are the citizens of the infinitely better country).
17:17 – The Son talks about His people being incessantly immersed in the Word of God. The Word unremittingly inceptionizes, indoctrinates, and imbues those who belong to God.
17:18 – The Son speaks to the fact that His people are small – like sheep sent out amongst wolves …being as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves; following in the footsteps of their Husband and King who came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.
17:19 – The Son solidifies the most sacred moment of His mission; calling attention to the sacramental consecration of His sacrificial death. This is the summit of all human history, and the fixation of our lives (see Hebrews 12:2, 1 Corinthians 2:2, and Galatians 6:14).
17:20 – The Son is voraciously received by all who are desperately hungry for Him, and alludes to the fact that more and more people will be invaded by the living Word, and more and more adopted siblings will be added to God’s family.
17:21 – The Son wants the diverse myriad of adopted siblings to be one (united but not uniform; diverse but not divided), and thereby defy and destroy the darkness of the world as the supernaturally saved and sustained bride of the Son.
17:22 – The Son talks more about His wife.
17:23 – The Son talks more about His wife.
17:24 – The Son talks more about His wife.
17:25 – The Son talks more about the world.
17:26 – The Son talks more about His wife.