Pondering for Friday, August 14, 2020

Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper14: Year 2

Psalm 102 and Psalm 107:1-32Judges 14:20-15:20Acts 7:17-29;  John 4:43-54

“Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.  As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive.  So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.”  The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household.  Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.” (John 4: 50 – 54)

Once again we see that Jesus does not have to be physically where the trouble or sickness is to fix the problem or heal the sick. All our Lord Jesus has to do is say the word, and it is done.

But let me also draw your attention to the fact that the man “believed” the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.  As I have said many times before, believing is everything.  As I have studied the language and culture of antiquity, I find that the word trust is the more definitive word for what we have as the word believe. The man with the dying son trusted in our Lord Jesus. And so do I.

Notice that the word faith is not a word that any English Christian translation of the Bible uses in the Gospel of John. Faith is a noun.  Faith is the word used in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).  John’s Gospel wants action.  Believing (or trusting) is a verb.  This again is why I crafted my own personal statement of faith.  Here it is (again):

“I Trust in the Creating Word through the Holy Spirit of the Incarnate Word, in whom we live and move and love and have our being, and to whom, we must give an account.”

How would you sum up your faith, or just your outlook about life?  Try to write a simple sentence that says what you believe, or trust in.  My own creed does not replace our Prayer Book Nicene Creed or Apostle’s Creed.  It is just a quick explanation of what I believe that can be said while standing on one foot, or on an elevator.  My faith statement has evolved as I have pondered over the years.  So might yours also, as you ponder anew what life means to you.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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