Seeing Is Believing? / C

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.

It’s interesting that this is phrased in the same way as the Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount). I’ve read that another translation of the line, Blessed are they …, would be … You are in the right place if you …

Pretty challenging!

Nobody wants to believe in something without some evidence, some proof – nobody wants to be made a fool. But maybe if the thing to be believed in is a someone, then the chasm between doubt and faith is bridged by trust, hope and love – who hasn’t been a fool for love?

Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.– Peter


8 responses

  1. Crystal,I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am a fool for love! For me, it is as though when I really love someone, I feel the essence of that person within me. I agree that the chasm of doubt and faith is bridged by love. My living would be empty if it were not for taking the risk to love.

  2. You’ve made a good point Crystal. I’ve never been a fool for love, always completely cold blooded.But Jesus is certainly in a special category. My love for Jesus arose gradually after many years of loving the Father. Actually I had to give up the idea that Jesus was God before I began to love him.In this scripture, like all the others, I don’t believe Jesus was asking us to love him; I believe he as asking us to trust and act on the Way that he laid out for us. People speak of loving their pastor. I’ve never done that, but I love Jesus in the same way they’re speaking of, because he has done so much for us.

  3. Really interesting — I am not a fool for love, and yet I love easily. Can’t say I’ve ever loved a pastor/minister — I usually don’t even like them — but I love my friends.I love God and I love Jesus, but for awhile now they’ve seemed so far away. I know thats because I’m far away but I don’t really know how to change that other than to try to wait patiently.The closest I can get to my problem is that I love God and I love Jesus, but I do not love the Church — and thats where this love is supposed to be expressed in community. I love the people in my Bible studies more than I love the people in my church.

  4. Marjorie!!! It’s so good to hear from you – I hope you stick around :-)I often have times when Jesus/God feels far away. Like you, I tell myself it’s really me that’s far away but it sure doesn’t feel that way. Sometime the weirdest thing can make them feel close, though. I was listening to some music the other day and I imagined dancing to it with Jesus … he’s actually a very good dancer :-)Do you remember the Jesuit I mentioned who helped me with the retreat? He now has a blog … link … maybe you’d like some of the stuff he has there in his posts and his archived stuff.

  5. Mereidth – ha, you and I are the only fools for love, it seems :-). Larry – you don’t seem cold-blooded to me at all. 🙂 I think Jesus’ human quality makes him easier to love, for me anyway, but if I didn’t think he was God, I’m not sure I’d try to get to know him well enough to love him.

  6. Crystal, for me it began as gratitude. I’ll always love the Father first. When that happened I started wondering– what about Jesus. I didn’t know. Eventually I realized that he was the one who told me (all of us in fact) about the Father; hey that’s pretty wonderful. But as long as he was God, like Mohammedan I couldn’t buy it. There was always that constraint in my love for Jesus. Finally I became utterly convinced in my own mind that Jesus was not God and never wanted anyone to think of him in that light. He is a man!From there it became much easier for me to love him– like a brother, like the most wonderful brother anyone ever had (and I had never had one of my own). Now I can go to him for advice; he is my intermediary to God.I know this is where theology hits the fan, and I’m not trying to convince anyone of my point of view. Just sharing it.God bless you all.

  7. Marjorie, I understand so well. The church is the world; it’s made up of very worldly people, and scattered in that crowd of worldly people are some real saints. Years ago I said to Ellie: “The church is not the body of Christ; it’s fallen.” She helped me as usual: “the Church is the body in which reside (among others) some of those who belong to Christ. Your Bible Study is made up of like minded kindred spirits. We all need that to keep us going. Some are called to work in the Church. Some are called to work in the prison, the hospital, wherever. You just go own following your loving spirit and in God’s good time things begin to get more satisfying.Eventually you will be a happy old man (oops woman), and you will be very glad for everything that happened to you.

  8. The church is not the body of Christ; it’s fallen.” She helped me as usual: “the Church is the body in which reside (among others) some of those who belong to Christ.Quakers and Anabaptists have a gathered church ecclesiology. Mixed multitude notions belong to the liturgical traditions. The original point of a Quaker meeting was NOT to be a mixed multitude — but rather to be an ecclesia — thsoe called out from the world to be a different kind of church.So more properly, the church is the body of Christ. But what we point to when we say church isn’t the church. Unfortunately, theory and practice don’t often mesh well. And that alternative church thing is just as mixed a bag as the critter it was set up to testify against.

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