April 8, 2017

Lent 2017: Day Thirty-Four

Week Five: Larger Fears Require Bolder Actions

Reflection for the Week: How can I be a courageous partner in God’s creative goodness?

This passage has always bothered me. Actually it scares me. First I can’t imagine doing anything greater than Jesus. In fact, one of the most critical things you can say about someone is that they have a “Christ Complex.” We have been taught that only Jesus is sinless and perfect. We have been taught that the power of the Holy Spirit of God was in him. Have you performed any miracles lately? I know I haven’t. What do we do with such a statement by Christ?

First we must believe the first part of the sentence, “I tell you the truth.” Jesus doesn’t lie. Jesus tells us truth, but truth is not always simple and God’s truth seems limitless. So perhaps we will never understand it all. That doesn’t stop us from tapping into the truth we can understand.

One truth I draw from this text is that Jesus did not intend for the things he was doing to stop when he went to the Father. Jesus called 12 disciples, who called more disciples, who called more and today we still do the same. Certainly, there is a greater number of Christians today than when Jesus went to the Father.

Jesus called people to lead persons to the good news of God’s saving love for them. Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry, and welcomed the marginalized. These things he started have not stopped, and if you add it up over 2000+ years, once again the number is greater now than then.

So, I guess we shouldn’t get tripped up by the line, “He will do greater things than these . . . ” At the center of this text is what we need to focus on. “. . . anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.”

Sometimes it feels like we have been doing this for a long time. When I look at our community and our world, there is certainly much more to do to move toward God’s kingdom on this earth. There is only one way to get there — keep the faith.

Prayer: Dear Lord, may I remain faithful to your truth. Amen.

Rev. John Farley
Dean of Cabinet
California-Pacific Conference