Tuesday, March 15, 2011

John

Our staff and council, in our reading for March, read John’s gospel. I was impressed with several repeating themes. One is the way in which Jesus repeatedly refers to God as his Father. This relationship is the touchstone for his ministry and a focal point for the religious reaction against him. “I must do my Father’s work.” “I and the Father are one.” Jesus invites his disciples – that’s us! – to join him in that oneness, to be part of that family, to find our truest self and our highest calling in relation to and in mission with our God.

I was also amazed by how many questions show up in the text. It seems to be John’s way of teaching. Jesus is asked a question, and he responds with a question.
  • Are you the King of the Jews? (Pilate, 18.33)
  • Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me? (Jesus, 18.34)
Instead of giving a “straight” answer, Jesus gives a “slant” answer. He pushes back, forcing us to make conclusions, take a stand, express our faith, find words for holy mystery. In chapter 18 alone, at least 15 questions are asked . . . by Jesus, Pilate, a slave, a woman, a security official. Sometimes, we think that our witness requires having answers. In John’s gospel, witness seems to involve at least as many questions as answers!

I encourage you to read John, joining the staff and council, and connecting to the Sunday message series through Easter.

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