Monthly Archives: May 2014

In the Spirit of Truth

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever.” (John 14:15-16 CEB)

Jesus made an announcement that changed the lives of the disciples and the world, for that matter.
“I’m going away.”
“You’re what?!? We’ve only begun this ministry. We’ve left our careers and our families to follow you.  What are we supposed to do when you’re gone?”

I imagine the disciples felt scared and confused. Their minds turned inside out. What now? What are we to do? Have we followed the wrong man?

Jesus regained their attention with a promise that he wouldn’t abandon them. He would send another Companion to be with them always. They’ll know this Spirit because they know Jesus. They know his commandments and they’ll continue following them because they love him.

Though the world won’t recognize the Spirit, the disciples will because they know Jesus. We recognize this Spirit because of our faith in Christ.

We desire truth today as much as the disciples in the first century. We seek it out in the Bible, through prayer and discernment. So, why the need to speak the truth at the top of our lungs, thrusting words at others like poison darts?

I’m tired of being yelled at. I’m tired of others with whom I disagree treating me as if I’m stupid. I want to rant and rail at them, shaking them to gain their attention so they’ll hear what I have to say. But that makes me no better than anyone else.

So, as I repent of my own sin, I come to some conclusions that just might remind me of those commandments of Jesus (you know, the one to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.)

First, perhaps that loud voice is trying be heard because I’m shutting down and not acknowledging them. Instead, I could bring Christ’s listening presence to the conversation.

Second, that other point of view may be wrong (in my opinion) but there’s probably something in the argument that I need to prayerfully consider.

Third, and far more important than anything: Christ died for that other person, too.

And that final point puts me in a place where the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, can speak to me in calm whispers.

All glory and honor be to God.

Amen.

Advertisements

Believing in the Risen Christ

“Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.” (John 20:29 CEB)

I know a lot of things. I know that tornadoes will arrive in the spring of the year and do damage somewhere. I know that, in my search for peace I’ll also find unrest. I know that God exists even though I can’t prove it with scientific accuracy.

The worshiping community, of which I’m a part, has spent the past few weeks of Easter taking a deeper look at the 20th chapter of John. It’s been a rich experience (for me, anyway!)

We come to faith in the risen Christ in many ways. Some faithful Christians I know have always believed in Christ. There’s never been a time when they didn’t believe.

Others came to faith slowly and gradually. They may or may not be able to pinpoint a date and time when they came to faith.

And then there are those who were “saved.” They know when and where and can describe it in detail.

No matter how we come to faith, I know with certainty that we carry with us something as precious as treasure.

Faith isn’t static. It must be allowed to grow. It wants to be out in the world, making a difference in the lives of others.

Faith searches; faith falters; faith questions. Faith is the lens through which we view the world. Faith is what we need when we lose a loved one and when we celebrate life. Faith is what carries us when we falter and frees us when we are challenged.

After my mother became widowed she constantly asked, “What do people do without a church family?” As she slips ever deeper into dementia, I have inherited the question. “What do people do without a church family? What do people do without God to rely on?”

I think it was St. Francis of Assisi who said, “Preach the gospel. At times use words.”

How does your faith speak to the world around you? Does it profess anger or love? Is it filled with peace or anxiety? Is it allowed to speak for you or shut behind a closed and locked door only to be allowed out on Sunday morning?

The Bible is filled with imperfect people. Some committed egregious sin. What we love, though, is the way in which they allowed their faith to lead them back to God. Their faith was strengthened. Their lives were turned into a new direction.

My prayer is that we can allow our faith to be a part of who we are, not just in church on Sunday mornings, but in the world where it can demonstrate an authentic, living faith.

May others see in you something they desire for their lives.

All glory and honor be to God.

Amen.


%d bloggers like this: