Friday, May 16, 2014

Way, Truth, Life, Take 2

Perhaps the first rule of blogging the lectionary, especially if it's gonna sound like a sermon is, that it is like writing a novel. For God's sake, never show anyone the first draft, even if you think it's a second or third draft.  So now that I've meandered through my issues with John 14:6 yesterday, here is what I hope is a better version.


First reading: Acts 7:55-60
Psalm: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
Second reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10
Gospel: John 14:1-14

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife,
Such a life as killeth death.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NRSV)

Here, Jesus is making "I AM" statements which is part of God's Name, the one he revealed to Moses when trying to convince him to go back to Egypt and free God's people. "I AM Who I AM." Jesus is laying claim to the same name and using it as God's name. 

"God is The Way, God is Truth, God is Life."

Imagine George Herbert's poem as coming from Jesus. It is an invitation, an offering of a great gift:

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife,
Such a life as killeth death.

It is by accepting this invitation that we become life-giving, that we find our way deeper into God and finding God in us. Jesus is in the Father, and the Father is in Jesus, so too, as we accept this invitation, we are in Jesus and the Father, and this, 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." (John 14:12)

By accepting this gift, we become the gift and will do greater works than Jesus. Can you imagine?

But what does it take to accept this gift? Imagine George Herbert's poem as an entreaty, a yearning to be nearer to God:

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife,
Such a life as killeth death.

In Truth, in Life, in the Way, we find God and he is in us and we are in God.

And what has been read as a one-way declaration of how to get to heaven, becomes a way to build a relationship between the Divine and the Incarnate Created. Through that relationship, in remembering God is the Way, the Truth, the Life and giving this relationship all our hearts, minds, and strength, we just may transform the world such that life is on earth as it is in heaven.  Can you imagine?

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a light as shows a feast,
Such a feast as mends in length,
Such a strength as makes his guest.


Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a joy as none can move,
Such a love as none can part,
Such a heart as joys in love.


Amen.

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