Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Blog # 45 WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM ? If you were born this side of 1946 you cannot experience World War II, right? Yes and no. If you stop to think about it, there are several ways you can experience the war, even though you were born after it was over. It is true that you cannot sit in congress on the day in history when President Roosevelt declared war on Japan. But you can read the text of his speech on that occasion and you can listen to it as it has been recorded on tape, and you can reflect upon its meaning and upon its effect upon our nation and our world. I think it is something like this with the life of Jesus. It is true that if you were born less than nineteen hundred years ago you are too young to see Him walk from Jerusalem to Jericho, to share His fish supper as the Apostles did on the shore of the Sea of Galilee , or hide yourself in fear as most of the Apostles did when He died on the cross. But you can know these events occurred. You can read of them in the Bible. You can reflect upon their meaning purpose and effect upon the world and upon your own life. In a very real sense, to listen to the words of President Roosevelt on a tape is much the same as listening to him speak those same words in Congress on December 8, 1941. There is a parallel in the life death and resurrection of Jesus experienced by the world over nineteen hundred years ago and our experience of that same life death and resurrection today in the Bible narrative of these events, in our reflection upon their meaning and purpose, and in the their effect upon our ways of thinking and upon our behavior. This would be true of the events of World War II as recorded in a history book and in the events of the life of Jesus as recorded in the Bible. There is also a large and essential difference. The events of history are human experiences and can be recalled by human memory. The events of the life of Jesus also have this human dimension and can be recalled by human memory, recorded in the Bible and passed on through the years. But the events of the life death and resurrection of Jesus are also the actions of Emmanuel, God-Among-Us, divine. This dimension of the life death and resurrection of Jesus can only be recalled by faith. "I am with you always..." has a very special meaning and power for those who believe. Though Jesus stood in their midst in the flesh, their ears heard Him speak, and their eyes saw Him walk among them, it was still up to Peter James and John in faith and freedom to declare this was God's Son, the Eternal Word of God, their Savior, the Messiah. And so it is with us.

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