Monday, April 6, 2015

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it." John 14:1-14 
Today is the anniversary of my consecration as a bishop. In 2002, we were gathered together in the gymnasium of St. Paul's College for that wondrous event. All of the blessings and challenges that have come after that moment cannot change what a holy and gracious moment that was in my life. To be called and made a bishop is to serve in the midst of the people, feet on the ground, engaged in the blessings and challenges of their lives. I pray that God will give me the strength, at this time of great loss, to continue to serve with strength and blessing in the days ahead.
 The disciples were concerned about where Jesus was going and worried that they couldn't follow. They did not understand that the conversation was an end of life conversation, at first. But Jesus knew that all of life is a conversation about death, all of life is our witness to the resurrection, and all of our ministries are embedded in the cross and resurrection of Jesus. We do what we are called to do because a way has been laid for us, and we are never alone. There is life, and life abundant, even when we cannot witness it, even when we are in deep mourning.
Today, I ask God to give me the strength to be tender, and to live the resurrection, even when I am fragile and faltering. May we all walk this day, as gentle followers of the one who would live, die and rise again, so that we would have life abundant now and forever.

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