Everything you wanted to know about Christianity
at the Anglican Parish of the Otways
Please join me each week for our reflections
of sermons conducted during our church service.
Plus, occasional splashes of humour and epiphanies!
With much Love and Blessings
Rev. Jenny Brandon
WHEN Richard and I first moved to Victoria in 1988 I remember the dread of our first driving trip to Melbourne. Not only was it an unfamiliar city, but it was a city, and we were from outback WA.
We were totally out of our comfort zone. We bought our trusty Melways maps, studied the path we wanted to take and with it on my lap we navigated our way through the maze of the city,taking more than one wrong turn along the way.
Today, although we will study a road map before we leave, we seldom ever take it with us as we now have a GPS in our car.
We type in the address of where we want to go and the GPS computes the path to our destination. What I love is if we miss a turn the GPS says, "Recalculating" and immediately computes a new route to get us back on the right path to our destination. Saves a lot of stress!
Sometimes I think that in life it would be nice to have a GPS to keep us on the right path and keep us from getting lost...something that would help us get back on the right track when we made a wrong decision. And this is exactly what John 14:1-14 is all about.
The setting is Jesus’ final teaching at his last supper. He has just foretold his betrayal by Judas, told his disciples that he will be leaving them, and He has also predicted Peter’s imminent denial, leaving the disciples troubled. It is as though the ground is shifting beneath their feet.
Jesus responds to the anxiety of his disciples by calling them back to the fundamental relationship of trust they have developed and assures them that he is not abandoning them. Rather, he is returning to his Father, which is good news for them, because it is also their destination. (John:14:2-3).
When Jesus says that they know the way to the place where he is going (John:14:4), Thomas, like a lot of characters in the Gospel, takes Jesus quite literally. He wants directions, a road map to this place. (John:14:5) Jesus responds by saying:
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John:14:6).
This statement by Jesus is a promise, a word of comfort to his disciples. Jesus himself is all they need; there is no need to panic, no need to search desperately for a secret map. He is their GPS!
Jesus promises to be with us through the power of the Spirit, to work in and through us to accomplish his purposes in the world. This is why he tells us that anyone who has faith in him will do what he has done, even greater things!
The bible is our Melways, but Jesus living presence is our GPS. It is he who guides us and recalculates our path when we make a wrong decision or a bad choice.
As we carry on our mission to make the Father known, let us carefully study His word to seek the path He would have us follow and continue to listen for Jesus' voice as he gently guides us through life’s obstacles.
The Lord be with you!
About the author
Rev. Jenny is an ordained Priest of the Anglican Diocese delivering services at Anglican Parish of the Otway churches every week.
With great depth of knowledge and a spiritual practice that shows she walks her talk and has taken her to the far reaches of N.T. Australia working with indigenous youth and elders.