On the Road Again (April 15, 2013)

…Opening To…

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can… (J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings)

…Listening In…

Jesus said, “…You know the way to the place I’m going.” Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:4-6; context)

…Filling Up…

Jesus has been talking for a bit when Thomas interrupts him with a question: “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” In response to this, Jesus says his oft-quoted line: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” What gets a little lost in the translation is the possibility that Jesus is making a bit of a joke – a pun really – in the midst of a fairly serious discussion.

You see, the word that is translated “way” is also the word for “road.” So when Thomas asks Jesus his question, he may very well be wondering about the literal “road” they should be taking. After all, they’ve been walking all over the place. The disciples often take Jesus too literally, and then Jesus spends a few moments trying to inject some imagination into their understanding. Whether or not Thomas is wondering about a literal road, Jesus doesn’t dwell on the literal. With the full weight of his divinely oriented “I am” statements behind it, he says that he himself is the Road.

Of course, Jesus isn’t cobblestones or asphalt, so he is taking Thomas’ perhaps literal question and bringing it into a metaphorical space. Jesus is the road in the sense of “the thing that guides your feet from here to there.”

This week, we are talking about roads, specifically about Jesus meeting people on roads and about what happens next. So stay tuned.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are always to be found no matter where my feet take me. Help me to recognize your presence while walking down whatever road is ahead of me. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, strengthened by your love and able to walk another day on weary feet

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