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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Today’s Reading | John 5:19–29

Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.

“Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (NRSV)


Nearly a hundred years after Jesus died, the early Christians were being persecuted for their belief that Jesus was the Son of God. To counter this persecution and to provide support for those that needed it, John wrote a passage, which we read today, establishing the absolute authority of Jesus and his equal nature with God the Father. While those early Christians may have been comforted to hear such words of authority, many people in today’s world have issues with authority. We expect authority figures, like our boss, teacher, or president, to earn our respect and trust, and when they don’t, we reject their authority. Other people have a more inherent authority, such as our parents; but when they disappoint us, as they inevitably will, we realize that they are only human and we question their authority. God gives us a choice to accept God’s authority or not. God’s willingness to give that choice to us is a complete freedom we experience with no other human authority. This freedom gives me great strength and comfort. Ultimately, this freedom makes it possible for me to turn my life over to God, to choose life over death at every moment.


God of life, you sent your Son to show us the way from death into life. Give me such a confidence in your authority that I may surrender to you and rest in your complete freedom. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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