"Do not let your hearts be troubled."
This passage is so familiar to those of us who have attended a funeral or two. "In my father's house," "I will come again," are phrases that bring comfort and hope to all of us especially in times of grief.
But the writer of John was not writing for a funeral. The writer was not addressing someone who had lost a loved one. The scene is that of the disciples wondering what they are going to do when their teacher is no longer there. The audience who first heard this Gospel, the Johannine church, was struggling with what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus when Jesus wasn't there. As Boring and Craddock speculate, "How can one follow an absent Lord? Where is Jesus now?"
Nothing has changed much in the centuries that have passed when it comes to these big life issues. We today join Christians all around the world in trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Christ in this time. How can these words recorded so long ago have relevance for us today? How can we understand what they first meant let alone what they could mean to us today?
That is our task and prayer - to ask, "Lord, how do I follow you? What is your will?" and then listen for the answer. We must do this for ourselves, for our congregation, and for The Church.
You Who are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we feel lost so much of the time. We do not know how to put the stories from the Bible into our daily lives. We have trouble sitting still long enough to hear what your will for us is. We know that you are our Loving Lord. May we indeed trust you and not let our hearts be troubled. May we hear your voice, feel your Spirit, and follow as best we can the path of faith you have before us. And when we lose our way, we know that you will never stop looking for us.
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