Friday, February 21, 2014

And Many Believed

The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?" The Jews answered, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God." Jesus answered, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, you are gods'? If those to whom the word of God came were called 'gods' - and the scripture cannot be annulled - can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, 'I am God's Son'? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, "John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true." And many believed in him there. John 10:31-42

Sometimes we have to move to see th8ings differently. After almost 18 months here in Alaska, I know my perspectives have changed. We sat yesterday, listening to a free lunch time concert by a piano virtuoso. He played Beethoven and Chopin, to name a few. As we sat and listened intently, the big picture window afforded us a gorgeous panorama. The snow was falling and eagles and ravens regularly flew across our vision, seeming to dance on the air along with the music. I thought then how blessed I was to be in this extraordinary place with these unique people. If I had not left my comfort zone I would not have had this privilege.

Jesus was being verbally attacked by the religious leaders of his day. The arguments had gone on for hours. In their frustration and humiliation, they were ready to become violent. They were ready to stone him there. Jesus had to get away from the religious center and go to the fringe, crossing the water and changing perspective completely. There many came to him and believed. God invites us today, if we find ourselves faced with frustration and mounting fear, to change our perspective, get away from the familiar and to find faith and love again along the fringe, the edge, the place across the water. However we need to move ourselves from our stuck places and institutions, God challenges us to go today.

I ask God to help me move, when arguments seem ready to kill my faith, getting to the edge where I can see love again. May we move when we are afraid and overwhelmed, may we follow when we want to cower and hide, so that God can renew us and make us whole again.

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