A few simple words, but it is so hard for us to believe. Jesus tells us in John 4:1-14 that He will go to prepare a place in His Father’s house for us. Instead of us having to seek God, Jesus will come again and take us with Him, so that “where I am, there you will be also.”
Thomas would fit well in today’s society with his rational, scientific mindset. He’s the one who wouldn’t believe the other disciples when they told him the story that they’d seen the resurrected Christ. Here in the Gospel of John, Thomas questions the Lord before his death saying, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Even Philip doubts. In verse 8, Philip challenges Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
Show us. Be tangible. We won’t believe unless you can prove what you say.
But God is not limited by the scientific method. He can reveal himself however He wants, and He is revealing himself to us now.
What does God’s kingdom look like? It is the perfect love that brings healing and salvation to everyone. God speaks through Jesus in poetic imagery with stories of lost coins, treasured pearls, mustard seeds, and withered fig trees. He speaks metaphorically not only of our life with Him in the future, but also of our life with Him, now.
God casts this metaphor as a journey where being a Christian means being wrapped up in a bigger story where we are already moving towards heaven.
It is not ours to ask for proof of the how, where or what, but instead we need to ask, “Who?”
We don’t know heaven, but we know God through His son, Jesus Christ.
What does this mean to us now? Two important things:
- We begin to see ourselves as toddlers with a sense of wonder about the journey and this informs our ministry of how we see others. Everyone is an infant, too, and needs to be nurtured and protected as they mature on the way to heaven.
- We can trust that death will not ultimately defeat us. We will live on in eternity with God through Christ.
Blessings, my friend,
(Based upon excerpts from a sermon by the Rev. Leigh Spruill on the 5th Sunday of Easter, May 18, 2014 at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, TN).
(Click below for an MP3 file)