In the seventh chapter of John we find Jesus teaching at the Temple. Folks are murmuring about the bravery of Jesus to just go to the front of the Temple and start teaching. Some are murmuring that Jesus is a fraud. Some are murmuring that Jesus is exactly what they have all been waiting for. The illustration being that when we have the bravery to cross boundaries there will always be people who get frustrated…but there will also always be those who are liberated by our tenacity.
Jesus had a few steps to take before Jesus arrived at the pulpit. Jesus first had to walk through the door. Jesus then had to walk through the Temple. Then Jesus had to climb up in front of everyone. This is a long journey.
Between opening the door and arriving at destiny, Jesus had to take a few steps. We do too. Sometimes though we start swerving a bit on the road to our destiny. We believe that love is the answer, but sometimes we swerve toward other things. We believe in the pursuit of justice, but sometimes we swerve toward other things. We believe that human beings matter, but sometimes we swerve toward other things. We believe that authenticity and honesty matter, but sometimes we swerve toward other things. When we swerve we succumb to deception. We begin to lie to ourselves about what is real. Unfortunately, in the words of the great prophet Howard Thurman, when we start deceiving ourselves we become a deception. When we become a deception we can’t go to where our destiny leads…because we have deceived so much that we can’t know for sure what our destiny is…but when we turn back toward love things begin to change and our destiny begins to come into focus once more.
On this day, may we choose honesty…may we choose love. May we walk the path that God has laid out for us. May we proclaim liberation to the captives. May we take our place in the pulpits of our world and proclaim, “love is here and love will never be silent.”
May we never be afraid to follow God and allow love to lead the way.