Friday, April 18, 2008

"Do not let your hearts be troubled."

These are Jesus’ first words to us in today’s gospel. So many things trouble our hearts… BIG things like a loved one with cancer, a death in the family, the loss of a job or a relationship hanging by the threads of misunderstanding. These things should trouble us. We are only human. (What a relief!) I think what the Lord is offering us is His peace. Even in the midst of our worries – big and small – the promise of presence stands firm.

In the book of Exodus, (stay with me now, I really do have a point) Moses encounters GOD in the burning bush. When Moses asks GOD’s name, GOD says, “I AM.” Our Jewish brothers and sisters so revere the name of GOD, that they will not speak these four letters aloud. Biblical theologians have translated GOD’s name in several ways – all correct. “I am who am”, is perhaps the most common. My favorite translation of “I AM” is this: “I am the one who will be with you.” Throughout John’s gospel, which we are reading now in the Easter season, Jesus uses that name as his own. When the people hear him say, “I AM,” they are scandalized by his use of the sacred name of GOD. He was trying to tell us something – to help us understand – that the GOD of Abraham and Sarah is the same GOD who stood before them in flesh and bone. So much mystery…too much for our grey matter to comprehend. But, if GOD so loved the world…sent us the only begotten Son…and allowed Him to share every human experience of sorrow and joy, then, in our own sorrow and joy, GOD is truly with us. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in GOD; now, have faith in me.” Today, I will turn all my worries – big and small – over to the One who will be with me. And may each of us be that presence of peace for one another.

Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki