Friday, November 19, 2010

'You have arrived...' (Part 2)

So in John 14:6 Jesus says he is the way, the truth, and the life. But what does that mean? More than just a little ink has been spilled trying to tackle that one. Those of you rolling your eyes please don’t be smug… now or ever. It’s just not becoming (and I say this having been smug more than too many times, thanks Nik). Here is the verse in it's entirety.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Alright so ‘to the Father’ sounds like a destination and ‘through me (Jesus)’ sounds an awful lot like a trip; as in “On my way to Texas I went through Oklahoma.” Now this analogy is a little unfair because who really enjoys Oklahoma (sorry PJ)? I mean, I don’t even think I stopped for gas in Oklahoma. But you get the point. I’m gonna end part 2 with this - read John 14:5-14 and yeah I love the subtitle in the NIV ‘Jesus the Way to the Father,’ again with the traveling lingo. Here is the verse in context (thanks to

Jesus the Way to the Father

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[a] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Now let me ask these intending provocation and not conviction:

Are you enjoying the journey?

Are you enjoying the through?

Are you enjoying Jesus?

Part 3 coming soon...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

'You have arrived...' (Part 1)

During my time int the states I drove over 8000 miles (12,875 kilometers) in 5 weeks time. Surprisingly, and thankfully, I never got lost. Many (read 'all') of the students from my youth ministry days will not believe this. They would say I am 'geographically challenged.' And they are probably correct, but I never let that stop me from enjoying the ride.

The truth is I'm as comfortable being 'lost' as I am when I know I'm on the proper course. I certainly desire the destination but not to the point of foregoing the journey. I love the journey as much as the arrival, but if you never get lost the journey could become mundane, and possibly even boring. Please, I do look forward to the destination, but I also don't want to miss anything along the way. I'm not sure of the proper phrasing but I'm only suggesting that the destination is a bonus or reward for having gone through the journey. Which is to say that we could gain something from the journey in addition to the destination.

There's a great line from an older Reba McEntire video (I know, my jaw is dropping too) where she has a family but is in college (past her 'college years') writing a paper.Somehow coffee gets spilled onto some of the pages, she turns in the same pages, gets dually rewarded with high marks and some discerning comments about the coffee stains on the paper. She responds with the line 'I learned more from the stains than the paper.' I love that line. Its sentiments encompass this journey versus destination idea. I wonder if our spiritual journey ought to be the same?

Consider Ecclesiastes 8:15 (copied below) and I'll get back to you in a few days with the next part.

'So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.' Ecclesiastes 8:15 NIV