Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Man Believed

See, I am creating new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered nor come to mind. Instead, shout for joy and be glad forever in what I am creating. Indeed, I am creating Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight.  Isaiah 65:17-18

Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” The royal official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. John 4:48-50

Loving Jesus, you came among us to say, "No, there is a light in this world." Let us be this light to others. Let us be the fruit of the branch of Jesse's tree. Let us be the bearers of the indescribable gift that is your grace. And so defy all false claims on your people and their dignity. And so, may you be born anew, into every season, into every age, into every land and every human heart. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, come.  Amen.  (From

We are living on borrowed time…lent to us by the Lord.  Isaiah reminds us that a new heaven and earth are coming.  Although what we know will pass away, we should look forward in hope at what will be. 

The royal official could see his life slipping away as his son’s illness took a turn for the worse.  Knowing nowhere else to turn to avoid losing his only son, the official turned to Jesus of Nazareth.  He heard the hubbub of what was happening.  Water turning into wine.  Lepers cured.  Samaritans converted.  He knew that Jesus was not exclusively helping only the Jews.  So maybe there would be a miracle that would save his son.  The man believed.

Jesus was back in Cana, the scene of the first sign related by the Gospel of John at the wedding feast.  Everyone who had heard of the earlier signs wanted to see more; everyone wanted to see for themselves.  Yet Jesus rebuked the Jews and the Pharisees among them who came asking for a sign.  They doubted the prophet in his native land.  But then, then the Roman official – filled with faith and hope -- approached Jesus.  Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.  (John 4:50)

The man believed.  That makes all the difference. 

Vanuatu is an island nation located east of Indonesia and north of Australia and New Zealand in the South Pacific.  Pam, a Category 5 storm, has left most of Vanuatu's population homeless.  Local residents have never experienced anything like this.  They were forced to take cover in churches and schools. The people of this island probably felt as hopeless as the Roman official.   

According to an account of the storm in The Atlantic:  Torrential rains and winds up to 185 miles per hour lashed the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Saturday, downing power lines and flattening buildings throughout the country. The official death toll of the storm, called Tropical Cyclone Pam, is eight, but the final figure is likely to be considerably higher: Rescuers have been unable to communicate with residents living in the archipelago's outlying islands.

Whenever a serious storm hits an under-developed nation which has poor infrastructure and no building codes like we have, severe damage results.  Aid is beginning to arrive from its closest neighbors but more response is likely to develop in the coming days.  Here is a link to how to help and a list of some charities that are already responding to the needs if you are moved to help.

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