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
Although our New Years Day is January 1st, I always regard the day after Labor Day as the beginning of a new year. We would leave summer and friends behind, walk to school in crisp and uncomfortable clothes, still itching from mosquito bites, and face a new and different reality of order and learning. I loved school but I loved the freedom to dream, play and roll in the sand much better. I do believe I learned a great deal in summers, often much more that stuck with me than the rote and rigidity of school rooms. The ability to create and imagine were often stifled in the classroom but summer was a culture of endless opportunity and invention.
Jesus is taken to task and threatened with stoning by the very rigid and rote religious leaders. He had learned the rules and requirements as a young child, had been dutiful and submissive when appropriate. As the Son of God, in the midst of the rigidity, he had to instruct people that God does not dwell within human rules and regulations but in the living hearts and minds of those who are willing to be remade and transformed.
Today I ask God to help me live a life of service to God. May we seek God at all times and find God's love in the awkward and difficult places we often avoid.