Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are an Easter people. Alleluia is our song!
There is a part in today’s Gospel passage that has the potential to either unite or divide people about matters of faith and belief. When Jesus says “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” as recalled by the writer of John’s Gospel, this is what Jesus means, BUT there needs to be a deeper understanding of the text than simply that. I know several times in my ministry I have been challenged by people questioning Christianity and who sadly don’t believe they can follow Christ unless accepting this verse exactly as it is written. However, the context is all important. This is not meant to be a text that disqualifies faithful, believing human beings. If you read and reflect on what follows, one soon realises that Jesus in responding to Philip’s question, maintains that the Father and he are one. We cannot separate, nor should we in any circumstance, separate Jesus from the Trinity.
In our world as it has been, as it is, and as it will continue to be, we are better served by realising our common bond in faith; “That all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Saved from what we may ask? Ultimately saved from death, but not simply physical death. From death that separates us from each other by our own too narrow a view. By seeking to serve only ourselves, the world continues to fracture, but in recognising and responding to the needs of our common humanity, this brings true freedom. Is this the kind of place Jesus has prepared for us now, whilst we wait for the fulfilment of all things.
May you journey well with the risen Christ day by day.
Rev Cannon Ian Howarth is the Rector of the Anglican Parish of St Paul's Kyneton and St John's Malmsbury and is the team leader of the Central Highlands Cluster.