The New Room is sharing a Friday reflection each week during the time that we are closed. Even though we cannot currently join together for our usual Friday lunchtime Communion service in the chapel, we hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
Today’s Friday Reflection is by Revd David Gray. Revd David Gray is a Methodist minister in North Wiltshire and lives in Chippenham. David is not as physically active as he once was due to illness but is developing an online ministry via a blog https://notanormalvicar.blogspot.com/ and a podcast https://soundcloud.com/revdgray-1.
The Bible passage we’re thinking about is John 14: 1 – 14 especially verse 6.
‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’
Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said “We’ll be surprised at who we find when we get to heaven. God has extremely low standards”. In other words, through God’s grace and mercy God may welcome into his Kingdom people we think should not be there. People of other faiths and people of none maybe? Who knows?
I feel that as long as we are respectful of others’ views, I see nothing wrong in us stating that we believe that Jesus is the way to God. This is what we believe to be true – that Jesus is God’s son and through him we know God and come to God. But with humility to admit we don’t know.
Professor Karl Barth was a Swiss theologian of the 20th century. Once he was lecturing at Princeton university in America. One student asked Professor Barth “Sir, don’t you think that God has revealed himself in other religions and not only in Christianity?” Barth’s answer stunned the crowd. “No, God has not revealed himself in any religion, including Christianity. He has revealed himself in his Son.”
And that I think is the key point. It is what John was trying to emphasise 2,000 years ago. That the way to God is through his Son. Not by being a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim. But by accepting that God’s Son is the way, the truth and the life, for if we have seen the Son we have seen the Father.
Father God, we thank you for the assurance that we can come to you through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. But we pray that we will be delivered from the arrogance of thinking we have all the answers and that we understand everything, when others may know things about you that we don’t. Amen.