It’s that Time of Year when John gets Wierd

Let’s face it, as we get into these last days of Lent moving toward Holy Week and Easter we also get into some of the most obscure parts of John’s gospel.  Congregations are left with heads spinning, and, even if they read along, have got to wonder what on earth he was talking about.  This coming Sunday is a good example.  Some Greeks (Greek speaking Jews?) want to see Jesus, and Philip and Andrew go off to find him.  We never know if they got to see him because as soon as the two found Jesus and told him about the Greeks, Jesus launched into a discourse on an hour that has come, grains of wheat,  his troubled soul, glorifying this and that, and a sound that might or might not have been thunder.  Gathered around a table with a half dozen other preacher/theologians I can rejoice in plowing through the fertile soil of every word, but try to wrap it up in a sermon that doesn’t sound like a lecture and tell me what you get.

Maybe that’s the point.  We are on the cusp of the single most impenetrable of holy mysteries.  It is the very hinge of history and the center of our faith.  But it absolutely refuses to be confined by our limited powers of logic or words of philosophical understanding.  It can be captured better in a child’s coloring book than in a hundred tomes of erudite study.  Yet, once planted, it can grow into the most profound of shared faith able to endure thousands of years of abuse and nay saying.  We are the planters.  The seed is of incalculable worth.  With it we need to be both bold and careful, risky and gentle, and ever awed by the power that lies within.

Maybe I should just keep quiet this Sunday and hand out coloring books and crayons.

2 thoughts on “It’s that Time of Year when John gets Wierd”

  1. coloring books are fine, but for this pew warmer, I LOVE me a good lecture, teaching sermon. I love when the priest makes the assumption that I am an adult and equal in intellect and ability and desirous of wading deeper into the whats, whys, wherefores of our faith.

  2. Your quote – \”But it absolutely refuses to be confined by our limited powers of logic or words of philosophical understanding.\” I love the \”safe words\” of faith and hope when confronting Gospel that sometimes seems impenetrable and I use the word sometimes because my understanding of the Gospel ebbs and flows with where I stand in relation to God when I hear or study the words.I look forward to hearing your sermon re John\’s gospel ….

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