December 2018   
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Rector's Msg.

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. John 14:6

I just got through the security checkpoint at Sacramento International Airport. In order to get through that point I had to present my photo identification, my boarding pass, take off my sweater, belt, shoes, take every single item out of my pockets, take specific items (like this laptop) out of my bag, and then feed everything through the X-ray machine, while I went through the backscatter X-ray scanner and stood like I was being arrested.

There are some situations in life that there is only one way to go through. Sure I could have tried to make a stink and argue that I am a unique and trustworthy person who does not need to go through the same hoops as everyone else, but that would have probably just landed me in a nice private room to answer some questions with TSA agents and the Sacramento Police Department.

If I want to get to Charlotte to see my fellow pastors and friends from seminary, I need to follow the procedures which have been delineated by the folks who are trying to keep flying safe. Now, we don’t often think about our lives like this, but there is one agency that makes the rules for what the ultimate journey to eternal life looks like. And that authority has set out several key elements to the journey. The first and most important is that there is one way. Jesus has told us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me,” (Jn 14:6) These claims of direction and exclusivity are challenges to us. Much like the TSA, Jesus has told us that there is one way to get to our destination. We can fight against it if we like, but that will not get us any closer to getting there.

In addition to there being one accepted path, there is one way of getting through that gate, and that is to be stripped of everything. Now this is spoken of in several places, but in particular when Jesus speaks to the crowd at the Sermon on the Mount and tells them, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matt 6:19-21). This verse explains that there are two places to store treasure: one is on earth and the other in heaven. The earthly treasure will pass away, the heavenly will endure. The implication then is that we cannot take anything with us. We came into this world with nothing and we leave the same way, the only thing that can make it through that security checkpoint are the eternal things.

It is nerve wracking going through the security checkpoint for a flight, but I can have confidence because I will eventually make it through. I am willing to follow the process and it will eventually work out. In my Christian life I can have even more confidence. There is no chance of a mixed up identity or incorrect documentation. We can have confidence because Jesus Christ has made the way sure and secure. May we put our trust in Him and count on Him to get us to our destination.

In transit Christ,


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