Believe, Belong, Beloved
The turning of the year is always a great time for reflection. As we turn from 2020 to 2021 many of us are ready to flush 2020 down the proverbial toilet and are hoping for a return to normalcy in all aspects of life. While that impulse is understandable, using gospel goggles will help us see that it is ultimately a wrong impulse owing to the fact that in pandemics as in politics, in life as in death, we are not our own, but belong to our faithful savior Jesus Christ!
As we saw this past Sunday, John’s gospel reminds us of this fact. Like John, our life in Jesus results in our being His beloved disciples. This is the bedrock of our identity and the source of our strength through years like 2020 or in the sanguinity that we hope for in 2021. As we will see this Sunday (John 6:22-59), it is as we believe Jesus, the Bread of Life come down from heaven, that our hungry souls are filled. Again, believing is not less than an intellectual assent to the claims of Jesus, but is so much more as we surrender our whole being to him! (FYI - for those of you who were privy to the rolled ankle illustration on Sunday, maybe I shouldn’t have used that as two of my players rolled their ankles this week, including Moses!)
In the past, we have characterized our life together at Christ Church as one in which we respond to the invitation of Jesus to Believe and Belong. Perhaps in light of John, we can modify this formulation a bit. Our invitation is to Believe and Belong as Beloved disciples!
May Jesus become more and more real to us as we walk forward into 2021!