The Scripture Readings for this Sunday are:
- 1 Peter 3:8-16
- John 14:15-21
Early Thoughts: Truth. An important word. Something we value -- or at least claim to value. Because sometimes truth is elusive, or so subjective, so reliant on a particular way of seeing the world that it is hard to identify. And sometimes truth is painful, and so we would rather find some other "truth" to take its place.
Just before his death (this part of John is in the "Farewell Discourse") Jesus tells his friends that he will send the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, to be with them so that they will not be alone. And yet only those of the "right" mind or vision or understanding can see (feel? sense? comprehend?) this Spirit of Truth.
What giftedness is there in knowing the Spirit of Truth?
I think (it is hard to say because it is a pretty dense passage) that 1 Peter touches on what it means to live in community with the Spirit of Truth. The writer of this letter is trying to uplift a community who are struggling, who are being oppressed, who are not sure where they stand int the world at large. And the writer encourages, basically, some advice we hear from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Take the high road, turn the other cheek. The writer gives the same advice Polonius gives to Laertes (though I think we can take it a bit more seriously here than from Polonius who doesn't seem to follow his own words all that well)
to thine own self be true,So how do we live with the Spirit of Truth? How does the Spirit of Truth shape our actions? Are we always ready to hear the Truth, or is Jack Nicholson right when he says "You can't handle the truth!!!"
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Truth. Such an important part of living in community. And yet such an elusive thing at times. So vital to building strong relationships. And yet there are so often competing truths (one of the markers of the post-modern school of philosophy is the idea that there is no ONE TRUTH, anymore), which ones are valid?
Lots of question in my head as this sermon starts to grow...