May 10 Reflections

I picture walking with Jesus, for instance down the road to Emmaus, and him asking me what is it that I most need from him. In this picture I can see me asking if I could only know more about him. I want to learn more; get another degree, after all a BA, MDIV, and Doctor of Ministry are not enough. I need more facts, more information. I need to go to a few more conferences to find the magic formula for a happy life. Like a dieter on the 11th plan they have tried, I think just one more book or plan or conference or degree then I will have arrived. I picture pouring myself out to Jesus to show me what is the magic answer. That is what I need the magic formula or answer. In that walk I can see him turning to me, taking me by the shoulders, looking me in the eye and saying, “There is no magic formula or 8 step plan…what you need is to trust me.” Trust me.

I can remember being struck by that at one point in my journey with Jesus. It was a gentle summons to my soul, “Verlyn you say you trust me, but you don’t really. You maybe rely on me. I am your go-to in times of trouble. I fit in your personal mission statement. You throw me in here and there in your conversation like you know me. You know facts about me. You have hundreds of books about me. You even talk about me a lot because you are a pastor. You know I died for you, but you constantly think you must earn my dying on the cross for you. You think you are always paying me back. You think you always must add a little; be a little in control…earn grace just a little bit. What I am asking you to do is to trust me 100%. Give up all your self-effort. Trust me. Stop squatting. You are miserable and you make everyone miserable around you. Trust me.”

Trust. I have come to see and know that Christianity, which to me is following Jesus, can be summed up in one word: trust. I so clearly see Jesus asking me and you, “Are you going to trust that I love you and that this love is a gift freely given, not to be earned or deserved.?” “Are you going to trust that I am with you always…every second of every day?” “Are you going to trust that in all things I am working out something good in your life?” “Are you going to trust that I am the light of the world and that you will never walk in darkness?” “Are you going to trust that I control the wind and waves?” “Are you going to trust that even on a bad day, I love you and I delight in you?” “Are you going to trust that you are enough?” “Are you going to trust that dying on earth is simply a transition to another life because of me?” The list goes on and on…the point is Jesus simply wants our complete 100% trust. This sums up following him: trust me.

We are going to look at trust this week in John 14 where in the midst of the disciples being troubled in spirit Jesus simply says, “Trust me.” I picture him looking me and you in the eye in the midst of our troubled times and simply saying with love, compassion and mercy, “Trust me…I got this…it is going to be okay.” Are we going to trust or squat not quite sitting in the chair of faith; not quite resting?

Some passages to read for Sunday: John 14:1-14; Psalm 56; Proverbs 3:5-6.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn