Cross sculpture on campus



Two Paths?

Lent 2022

Read John 14:1-14

1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

In Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” a person is presented with the dilemma of two paths of equal possibility. He takes one, leaving the other for another day, then adds, “Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.”1 Reflecting on this, he concludes that he chose the better road: the one less traveled.

Theologian Bo Giertz notes that our self-righteous and self-sufficient nature would have us “go the way of obedience to the very end in order to find peace with God. But the way of obedience has no end. It lies endlessly before you, bringing continually severer demands and constantly growing indebtedness.”2 We may work to take stock of our deeds, examine our hearts, and amend our lives. It seems like the right way, but it never ends, leading on and on, steeper and steeper. This way can never bring us to peace with God.

In contrast, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Here is a road that is simply wonderful. God has driven us toward this road all along. This is the road where, with eyes opened to see our sinful state, we look up to see Jesus standing in its midst. This is the road where his righteousness is offered to everyone who believes. Only in Jesus do we find rest for our anguished souls. Here peace is offered and we are led to the Father.

Prayer: Lord, lead me in your way of truth that I may always rest in your unchanging grace. Amen.

1 Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken.”
2 Bo Giertz, “The Hammer of God” Augsburg Fortress, 2005 p.173.

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