Late Night Theology – Lent 8

Lent Letterpress

Some nights sleep eludes me and my brain goes into overdrive. Some nights, I solve the problems of the world all by myself in the wee hours of the morning. Some nights, I can’t solve any problems including going to sleep.

The good thing is that I don’t have to solve anything. Not really.

I’m studying the book of John right now and the exchange between Jesus and His disciples really hits deep. It goes as follows:

Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. John 16:29-32

This specific passage comes into play just before Jesus leaves the Upper Room to pray in the Garden of Gethsamane. In just “a little while”, these disciples who “now believe” won’t be able to watch with Jesus for one hour and will scatter just as He predicts.

I love these guys. They give me hope. The disciples have followed Jesus, worshiped with Jesus, dined with Jesus and been personally CHOSEN by Jesus and they just don’t get it. They walk with our Lord and they are blind.

…yet Jesus loves them.

It is hard to be perfect and it is especially hard to be a perfect Christian. I relish the fact that those closest to Him were so incredibly imperfect. But they eventually become something more. They live up to their calling.

Oh that it may be so for us.

Motley Crew

Faith versus doubt, religion or confidence concept

Doubting Thomas has historically been given a bad rap…in fact, he’s always called “doubting” Thomas. But when we speak of Jesus’s disciples, at one time or another, they all doubted.

What a motley crew.

They walk, talk and break bread with Jesus and yet they still didn’t get “it” – they still questioned. They wanted more proof. The disciples who watched in awe as Jesus performed miracles, raised Lazarus from the dead, healed the sick, and walked on water harbor doubts. How is that even possible?

Jesus shares the great proclamation “I AM” seven times and His disciples are bewildered? Seriously?

And yet, Jesus loved them. He chose them. Is it a surprise that this many years later we are still surrounded by doubters? How many still want proof?

How many skeptics resort to false claims? For some, they refuse to believe. And yet, Jesus loves them too.

He loves the doubters, the unbelievers and those who don’t know they need Him yet. Jesus is love.

So when our contemporary doubting Thomas’s question the reality of Jesus Christ. Be patient. Be kind. Be loving.

That’s what Jesus would do.

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 14:1-14

Miracles

chandelier Real estate is my career. Writing is my life. Both require some skills.

I love selling people dreams. Owning a home is still the single most desired possession for American families. They don’t call it home, sweet, home for nothing.

But in my profession, I am typically dealing with clients who are in highly charged emotional situations. Selling a home can be difficult because you are parting with memories as well as the actual structure. Buying a home is difficult because you have to obtain a home loan while working with sellers to agree to your desired purchase price. Either way you look at it, some days I feel like a U.N. peace negotiator. Most days I feel like a miracle worker.

Stress is a part of a real estate agent’s life yet I know it is a part of everyone’s life. I wish it were not so.

There is only ONE miracle worker out there. Only God can make everything perfect. Only God can guarantee, 100% that your dreams will come true.

But it is my job to remind people that life is about the quest to fulfill dreams while remembering that God is in control. Like the song says…”You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might find – you get what you need.”

Jesus will lead you, guide you, and comfort you when you don’t get what you want. Even better, He will be there when you do get what you want. Either way, for those who believe, we know that miracles can and do occur when the One who loves us more than we can imagine intervenes. I’m good at my job, but I can’t beat that promise.

I’m OK with that.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17