Wednesday, January 25, 2012
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:19-29
We spent a beautiful afternoon yesterday, walking around Harvard Square with our daughter Phoebe. She was born here in Boston while I was in seminary and now she lives here. We walked around and reminisced about the three years we lived here and the places we liked to stop and window shop. We stopped into an stationers store which in 20 plus years moved and moved back to its original location. I was reminded how permanent those days seemed then, and how fleeting they truly were. We were just passing through. We were there for a time, and we have wonderful stories to remember, but life moved on, and we moved on.
Jesus begins to share with his disciples the nature of his relationship with the father. Although his corporeal time on this earth was fleeting, his station was permanent, and his role was the one who brought people from death into life, beyond judgement, beyond having to stand in judgement. No matter how many times I read this passage I am never sure I understand completely. John's Gospel is always a bit of a mystery, and is often full of poetry and implication. But it points to a very deep truth, that relationship is everything, and God is at the center of all relationships. Even if we are passing through a time or place, love is permanent, and Jesus brings us beyond judgement and captivity into freedom and life.
Today I ask God to help me enjoy the day, to feast completely on the wonders and gifts of relationship, and to trust that the coming days are in God's hands. We are to trust the the way ahead is made clear by love, and we are to travel the road ahead with confidence and joy. May we all know that the love we have is eternal, and no matter where we find ourselves on the journey, we are passing through, and held closely in a loving relationship with a truly compassionate and forgiving God.