Thursday, May 6, 2010
Easter 6c - John 14:23-29
“Do not let your hearts be troubled” might be mistaken for a Jesus “Just Do It” theology if it were not for the peace that precedes it. In the same way that “Believe in God. Believe also in me” precedes the same command in the beginning of chapter 14, the “do not let…” does not lead. It follows. And the peace that precedes the “do not let…” is not put on a happy face and the whole world smiles with you because the sun will come up tomorrow bet your bottom dollar solution to real life strife. In the same way, “believe in me” does not mean just get over it. Nor does it minimize trouble because it could be worse, even if it clearly could be. That would be worldly peace. Temporary and illusionary the peace of the world denies sorrow, medicates pain with costly pleasure, or seeks solace by seeing to it that other hearts are equally troubled. The peace that Jesus gives embraces suffering and dies to destroy the power of death. Called to cling to the cross by which Jesus overcomes the world and all the trouble in it, the people of Jesus’ peace believe that trouble is temporary while peace is eternal. In the fourth chapter of his second letter to the troublesome Corinthians the apostle Paul did not let his heart be troubled, though he had more than enough of his share. “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” Do not let your hearts be troubled is not a command. It is an invitation.