When I was a kid one of my weekly chores was mowing a huge lawn. We had an old, really old lawnmower. I would lace up the pull cord and tug and tug and tug until it came to life. Once I got it running it did pretty good, until it was time to stop. I would kill the power and it would keep sputtering, puttering, and growling. It wouldn't shut off.
I experience the same sensation when I come to the end of reading the Fourth Gospel. Chapter 20 crescendos to a zenith with Thomas on his knees declaring, "My Lord, my God!" and then segues to us readers with these words:
Jesus: "Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe."
Jesus performed many other wondrous signs that are not written in this book. These accounts are recorded so that you, too, might believe that Jesus is the Anointed, the Liberating King, the Son of God, because believing grants you the life He came to share.
The Evangelist turns off the vehicle of the Fourth Gospel but it keeps gurgling and sputtering… as it belches out two more stories; stories that cause us to pause and reflect on the struggle for faith and the litmus test of love, and the distractions of following an invisible Jesus with very visible peers.
Oliver Wendel Holmes Jr. once said, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to old dimensions.”
The minds of the disciples had been stretched by The New Experience--resurrection. And although that is incredibly climatic we learn here that its not the end, but the beginning of a different kind of struggle. The Fourth Gospel sputters out two more stories that illustrate how difficult it is being stuck in a place where you cannot go back, and yet how frustrating it is no knowing how to go forward.
Beloved join us as we gather on the First Day of the week (like our family from the first generation) as we remember, worship, and reflect on how we continue our quest as God Lovers vis-a-vis life.
This Sunday join us as Dr. Jeffrey Garner unpacks more of how we can love God intimately.
Sunday | Celebration Gathering | 9:30 and 11:00
Come 5 minutes early. Grab a Coffee. Sing and sway into God's presence.