Searching for Satisfaction
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19
In their 1965 hit, Mick Jagger summed the feelings of a generation in his song, ''I can't get no satisfaction.'' The world out there according to Mick Jagger is not unlike the world according to the Gospel of John - it is scary and full of hate. The world in 2015 is no better than it was in 1965. Did you know that if you just had the right kind of cell phone with the right apps and the right set of social media connections, your world would be perfect? Or if you vote for the right candidate he or she will clean up Washington (or OKC) and fix all your problems? Or if you just buy the right products? Lord knows some burgers will even make you king!
John basically noted that satisfaction could not be found in 65 AD. Mick Jagger couldn't find it in 1965 and we still can't find it 50 years later. A parishioner came in this week seeking justice for a professional colleague who had been badly treated by his employer. Other parishioners have had heart surgery latterly. A fellow priest had his brother kidnapped by terrorists in Syria. Yes, life can have its wonderful moments, but the church needs to be a place where we tell the truth to each other. And if there is any truth to be found, the world can also be painful and it is probably getting worse.
Authentic Christian faith does not provide an escape from this world nor does it protect us from the challenges of life. A popular understanding of Christian faith tells us that once we say the magic words about accepting Jesus as our savior, that the troubles of the world will go away and the complex, scary world will all make sense. While this may be what people want to hear and it may grow big churches, I don't think for a minute this is what Jesus meant.
In his final prayer for the disciples, Jesus asks God to protect them from the evil one. In this context the disciples (and us too) are not exempt from life's di ...
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