First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

What things?

March 28, 2017

"I have told you "these things" so that......."  WHAT THINGS????

    A long time ago, I used to rattle the lawn mower over a protruding rock in the back yard.  In the spring when the ground was softer, the mower deck would scrape the rock and mower blades would strike the rock.  Not good!  The day arrived when the decision was made to pry the rock out of the ground and remove it. With round mouth shovel in hand, I began to pry with no movement from the rock. I removed a little dirt around the rock only to discover the rock underground was much larger than what stuck out of the ground (Think iceberg).  More digging followed by more prying with the same results only grew my determination. 

    The end of this battle with the rock in the backyard revealed a boulder much larger than I could have imagined (And I can imagine a lot). Isn't that how things in life can go sometimes? What we see and hear is always a glimpse of a bigger story or picture. One has to dig and dig to get the whole story.

    This morning's verse of the day from John 16 runs along these lines of thought. I take great solace in knowing the disciples of Jesus were not the brightest light bulbs or sharpest tools and yet Jesus chose them and equipped them to spread the Gospel.  I think I could have been a disciple.....oh wait, I am a disciple. They didn't always understand what Jesus was trying to convey, but they never stopped digging to figure stuff out.

    Jesus had just finished telling his disciples how he would go away for a while then return. Confusing to be sure. He warned them of great grief to come but then joy would relieve their sorrow. Okay, these word pictures are not explaining things in great enough detail.  He spoke of pregnant women in birth pains forgetting the pain when the baby arrived (More perplexed looks on the disciple's faces). Jesus told the disciples that God loves them and their love of Jesus is based upon God sending Jesus (A discernable brightening of the disciple's faces was beginning to show).  For the first time, these 12 followers were seeing the depth, width, and breadth of Jesus' presence. They understood in part what the "these things" were he was describing! 

    Jesus desperately needed the disciples to get this chief concept of his earthly presence. He needed them to grasp God's plan for humanity and to be enveloped in holy peace. Jesus was preparing them for what would follow. He needed them to claim their calling and be emboldened to take the Gospel to the world. I think Jesus succeeded.  If we struggle with our faith today please know that Jesus wants us to know a "these things".

God loves us.

We reciprocate that love to Jesus.

Jesus is the Son of God come to save.

We take God's love and share it with people carrying confused looks on their faces.

God supplies peace in all of our situations.

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