Some days I wonder who we can trust. With fake and misleading news reports, we have to dig deep to seek the truth from non-partial perspective. Often the clearest truth comes from listening to multiple voices and then using our own critical thinking skills. Even then, two faith-filled people may understand it differently based on their own life experiences.
Believe it or not, this is not new. While social media and 24/7 news channels may have escalated the trust issue, the challenge of knowing who to trust dates back at least as far as Jesus’ day. Our Bible readings this week center truth and trust. They give us a “reality check” to help us discern God and those doing God’s work.
Read these two passages. How can we recognize who to trust? How do we recognize God’s action in the world and in each other?
From the Gospel of John 10: 11-18
Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. “
From the letter of 1 John 3: 16-24
“We know love by this that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.”
Who can we trust? A protecting Good Shepherd. A life-giving guide. A generous heart. A compassionate leader. People caring for those in need. Organizations looking out for the vulnerable. A God of love and mercy.
These Bible verses are a reality check and more. They challenge us in our walk with Jesus. How can we reflect God’s truth and love? How do we love in truth and action every day?
I end today with Suzy who lived God’s love for me this week. At chapel for Rainbow Preschool, I asked what the kids wanted to talk to God about. Suzy immediately raised her hand. She bowed her head, and prayed: “Dear God, thank you for loving me. I love you too. Help us to love each other.”
Amen Suzy. Amen.