November 6: Jesus asks: Would I lie to you?

Posted on : Nov 3rd, 2016 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Hillary Clinton is not the only leader to suffer from a trust issue. Jesus had the same challenge. The story of faith from scripture that we will wrestle with this Sunday is not one of the better moments in Jesus’ ministry. However, for those of us who find ourselves doubting matters of faith, I find comfort in knowing that even the most devout – the 12 disciples – had more than their fair share of questions and doubts regarding Jesus and what he taught.

The faith story that we are going to focus on this Sunday starts off with a difficult encounter between Jesus and the Twelve. The context of this story is the beginning of a heart-to-heart dialog Jesus is having with the disciples about his own death and what is going to happen to them and his followers after his death.

Jesus begins with a very compassionate response to the disciples’ angst as he tells them that he is going to die. So, Jesus says to them, “Set your troubled hearts at rest. Trust in God always; trust also in me. There are many dwelling-places in our God’s house…and I’m going to prepare a place for you so that where I am, you may be also.” The immediate response from the disciples to these words of comfort is unbelief and questioning what Jesus just told them. So Jesus had to say to them, “Would I lie to you? If this were not true, I wouldn’t have said it to you!”

The rest of the story is about what it means to belong – to have a place in the household (community) of God’s people. Who is in and who is out? Who is included in this radically different kind of community that Jesus calls “the realm of God” or “the kindom of God” and who is not?

Are you in? Are you included? Or, are you excluded? And what about others – especially those you really don’t like. Are they included or excluded?

What does it mean to be truly welcomed into the household of God just as you are?

Nelle Morton, one of the early feminist theologians of the 20th century (and one of our own Rev. Peg Beissert’s professors!) wrote a ground-breaking book entitled: The Journey is Home. Her thesis is that our spiritual journey is one of finding our way home to our true self, the very person that God created.   Nelle said, “The journey is home.” The journey is about finding your true and authentic self and in so doing, knowing that you are extravagantly welcomed into the household of God.

Jesus was trying to help the disciples understand that there’s room for them – and everyone – in God’s house. But they still questioned him.

Where are you in your journey towards home? More on Sunday.

Blessings,

Dan

 

 ~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

John 14: 1- 12

Jesus said, “Set your troubled hearts at rest. Trust in God always; trust also in me. There are many dwelling-places in our God’s house; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going there on purpose to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I shall come again and receive you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. And my way there is known to you.”

But Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples said, “We do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the Way; the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to our God except by me.” If you know me, you will know our Loving God also. From now on you do know God and have seen God.”

Philip said to him, “Jesus, show us God, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to Phillip, “Have I been with you all this time, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen God. How can you say, ‘Show us God? Do you not believe that I am in God and God is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but God who dwells in me does God’s works. Believe me that I am in God and God is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. In absolute truth, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to God.

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