Easter V, the way, the truth and the life
May 10th, 2020 Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 & John 14:1-14
Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life. I cannot help thinking of the scene from Rocky Horror Picture Show; when the young couple comes to the mansion in the rain, soaked to the bone, and the butler who answers the door invites them in with the words; walk this way. He proceeds to walk from the door into the mansion with a funny walk, and the expectation is that they walk the same way.
Is this what Jesus is saying, that we walk the way of Jesus and follow him? Both the way and the life in particular are words of action, not stagnation and arrival at the end of the journey.
May be this follows from the words of comfort by Jesus; In my father’s house are many dwelling-places.
At other times in our lives we may have taken great comfort in these words, but at this time in history, the idea of a dwelling place may not be all that comforting and the idea of staying in the same dwelling place for eternity feels like a prison sentence.
The good news is; there is another way of understanding of these words, which some of you may have heard before. The alternate wording is: In my father’s house are many resting places.
This gives me a lot more hope for the future and our lives beyond our time on earth.
And the journey continues.
Jesus ends the passage with: If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
At this time these word seem rather hollow, and giving us pause about the value in prayer and our relationship with God. Why doesn’t God answer our prayer?
Maybe God has answered the prayer, not just the way we want.
Maybe this relationship with God is not one where we are to pray and just sit back and passively waiting for God to answer our prayer, but to work with God to help answer our prayers.
Here’s a story by Anthony de Mello in the book Taking Flight: A Book of Story Meditations (New York: Doubleday, 1990):
A woman dreamed she walked into a brand-new shop in the marketplace and, to her surprise, found God behind the counter.
“What do you sell here?” she asked.
“Everything your heart desires,” said God.
Hardly daring to believe what she was hearing, the woman decided to ask for the best things a human being could wish for. “I want peace of mind and love and happiness and wisdom and freedom from fear,” she said. Then as an afterthought, she added, “Not just for me. For everyone on Earth.”
God smiled, “I think you’ve got me wrong, my dear,” God said. “We don’t sell fruits here. Only seeds.”
Before Jesus talks about being given what we ask for in his name, Jesus says:
Very truly, 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 the Father.
This is part of what is called the farewell discourse, and Jesus is preparing the disciples for his departure, and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
In other words, this suggests we can do the works that are greater than the works which were done before.
And in the Psalm: My times are in your hand; *
Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
This says what I have said in the past, that our blessings are not just for us but to be shared in community, So our times are in the hand of God, and God’s face shines upon us, what are we going to do about it?
So as our journey continues together, let us recognize we have been given the ability not only to pray, but listen to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and show care and love for one another.
Your may have other thoughts about this, and you can e-mail me if you would like,