Friday, September 28

Just maybe.

So, I recently read an article found here in Christianity Today. (It’s not current; I was just found it in a recent search for an essay by Anne Lamott.) The following quote from the article reminded me of something I’ve been ruminating on for a while:

The idea of everyone enjoying God for eternity appeals to me—as I'm sure it does to God—yet it's hard to reconcile with verses such as John 3:16 and Jesus' assertion that "no one comes to the Father except through me."

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about. This summer, I attended a lecture at the home of the former First Lady of Indiana, Mrs. Judy O’Bannon. A remarkable woman who has taken up the life of a servant was speaking at this gathering. Her name is Dr. Dwabha Prabhavati, and she has been called into a life of service to the poorest, least powerful people on the planet, “the untouchable” children of Rishikesh, India. She founded and runs Ramana’s Garden, a school for poor and orphaned children there in Rishikesh.

During her talk, she was luminous with love for her own life and for the lives of the people with whom she is living and working. Someone in the audience asked about religious education for the children. She replied that the children are exposed to all major world religions, and that they were free to believe as they wished, but that exposure to philosophies and religions is part of their regular education. At the time I wondered how the person who asked the question felt about her answer, as I do live in a part of the U.S. where Christianity, and that evangelical, is somewhat considered the standard.

After the talk, another guest and I were talking about the work Dr. Prabhavati was doing, and how inspired we were by her great love for people and her intentional life of service. I instinctively knew the other guest was a Christian, as am I, and said to her about Dr. Prabhavati’s work, “If children are being loved and fed, I assume Jesus is already there.”

Sometimes I don’t know what I think until I see what I say.

What if Jesus' assertion that "no one comes to the Father except through me” means “If you have experienced God, you have come through me, whether you know my name or not”?

Couldn’t that be true?

When the “least of these” are being loved and fed, I assert that Jesus is already there. When the brokenhearted are being comforted, I believe Jesus is already there. When judgment is reserved and love is shown instead, Jesus is already there. When joy explodes, when health is restored, when laughter is heard after a long cry, Jesus is already there.

Many are blessed to know him by name. Many more are blessed to know him by his presence.


Allie said...

i have a LOT to say about this one - but i have to get my thought together so that they make sense in more than just my head, but also when written.

damn tasty.

MajorMike said...

I've often ruminated over that verse, too.

Perhaps Jesus' sacrifice on the cross that paid the debt for us...and for all who ever were and ever will be...answers the question.

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