Show Me The Way

John 20:19-32

I have been told by more than once that I have a rather eclectic taste in music. My wife Nancy says that I’m the only guy she knows who listens to Mozart while in the garage working on my motorcycle. But, be not deceived by all this sophistication! I love the common poetry of country and western. “Beer’s good. God is great! And people are crazy!” I like opera, good Blue grass, love folk music, and, and on those days when I think the church is empty and I am working in the sanctuary, you might just hear 1,200 watts of Genesis, Lighthouse, Brian Adams, Bruce Springsteen and Styx pumping through the sound system.
I was out for a walk the other night listening to Styx through my head phones. You ever have those serendipitous moments when a song comes on and it’s saying exactly what you have been feeling? Clarifying the chaos of your soul? Such was the case when I heard a song I have not heard for years, “Show Me The Way.”
Now, rock and roll may not be your particular genre but I am going to lean on your graciousness for just a few moments and play for you the opening segments of this song. I’ve put the words on the screen so you will better be able to digest them.

Every night I say a prayer
in the hope that there’s a heaven.
But every day I’m more confused
as the saints turn into sinners.
All the heroes and legends I knew as a child
have fallen to idols of clay.
And I feel this empty place inside,
so afraid that I’ve lost my faith.

Show me the way, show me the way.
Take me tonight to the river
and wash my illusions away.
Please, show me the way.

And as I slowly drift to sleep,
for a moment dreams are sacred.
I close my eyes and know there’s peace
in a world so filled with hatred.
Then I wake up each morning
and turn on the news
to find we’ve so far to go.
And I keep on hoping for a sign,
so afraid I just won’t know.

Show me the way, show me the way
Bring me tonight to the mountain
and take my confusion away
and show me the way.

So, here it is, 9:00 at night and I am standing in the middle of the street, air pumping, saying, or I may have even been yelling, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” because, when I breathe in the world around me, I feel lost. I feel like I’m drowning in a world that lacks a soul, a conscience, even basic humanity.
Two weeks ago, the U.N. declared that within 10 years we will have hit the point of no return with our environment. Admittedly, I’m a tree hugger, but we have gone so much further than that. I think of the provincial government cancelling e-testing for our automobiles. Cancelling the tree planting programs, you know the ones where you could get free trees to reforest areas? No more of that because balancing the books is apparently more important.
Then I see our Prime Minister up in Ottawa filling sandbags in an effort to control flood damage saying that something needs to be done with the environment. Anybody else confused here?

But every day I’m more confused
as the saints turn into sinners.
All the heroes and legends I knew as a child
have fallen to idols of clay.

Political debates in the U.S. have now come down to Trump and Joe Biden arguing over who’s in better shape. That’s the depth of our leaders? You and I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg as humanity melts into a sea of chaos; of wars, the bombing of religious spaces, shooting rampages, refugee camps occupied by millions, natural disasters, genocide, each of which we have the power and resources to resolve, but we just go on as privilege is protected and no one seems to care about what our brothers and sisters are suffering.

I close my eyes and know there’s peace
in a world so filled with hatred.
Then I wake up each morning
and turn on the news
to find we’ve so far to go.
And I keep on hoping for a sign,
so afraid I just won’t know.
*****
When I get caught in the downward spiral of a dark hole, sucking everything around it into oblivion, when I don’t necessarily lose my faith
but I begin to doubt the reality of it, that is when I pray…

Show me the way,
bring me tonight to the mountain
and take my confusion away
and show me the way.

I suspect that this is how the disciples felt that night in the Upper Room. Two conflicting facts. First, some of them had seen the risen Lord that very morning. Secondly, they still locked themselves in a room because they were afraid. I know the feeling. That’s when Jesus enters, Jesus enters our own lives when we allow fear to lock us away. He stands before them, full of light, energy and hope. And as he stands there, he says, “Peace be with you.” Hallelujah! With that greeting of peace comes the awesome awareness that we are not alone. Not even here in the darkness. God enters the locked rooms of our lives and affirms to us that not even our greatest fear, death itself, can keep God from being with us.

Show Me The Way.

But the doors are still locked, aren’t they? No one is quite ready to find the key for the lock. A week later and the disciples are still locked in that room. But this time, with Thomas. “It’s okay for you other guys to tell me you have seen Jesus, but, unless I see his hands and side there is no way I am unlocking that door.” So Jesus, once again, appears. “Peace be with you,” is his offering to Thomas. But this offering of peace is quite different. You can imagine the tension in that Upper Room when Thomas showed up. Some believing, some doubting, everyone arguing. Jesus then reminds them of the ministry he has commissioned them for. “As the Father has sent me, so now am I sending you.” Where? Out there?

and turn on the news
to find we’ve so far to go.
And I keep on hoping for a sign,
so afraid I just won’t know.

Show me the way, show me the way
Bring me tonight to the mountain
and take my confusion away
and show me the way.

So, here it is, 9:00 at night and I am standing in the middle of the street, air pumping, saying, or I may have even been yelling, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” because, when I breathe in the world around me, I feel lost. I feel like I’m drowning in a world that lacks a soul, a conscience, even basic humanity.
Two weeks ago, the U.N. declared that within 10 years we will have hit the point of no return with our environment. Admittedly, I’m a tree hugger, but we have gone so much further than that. I think of the provincial government cancelling e-testing for our automobiles. Cancelling the tree planting programs, you know the ones where you could get free trees to reforest areas? No more of that because balancing the books is apparently more important.
Then I see our Prime Minister up in Ottawa filling sandbags in an effort to control flood damage saying that something needs to be done with the environment. Anybody else confused here?

But every day I’m more confused
as the saints turn into sinners.
All the heroes and legends I knew as a child
have fallen to idols of clay.

Political debates in the U.S. have now come down to Trump and Joe Biden arguing over who’s in better shape. That’s the depth of our leaders? You and I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg as humanity melts into a sea of chaos; of wars, the bombing of religious spaces, shooting rampages, refugee camps occupied by millions, natural disasters, genocide, each of which we have the power and resources to resolve, but we just go on as privilege is protected and no one seems to care about what our brothers and sisters are suffering.

I close my eyes and know there’s peace
in a world so filled with hatred.
Then I wake up each morning
and turn on the news
to find we’ve so far to go.
And I keep on hoping for a sign,
so afraid I just won’t know.
****
When I get caught in the downward spiral of a dark hole, sucking everything around it into oblivion, when I don’t necessarily lose my faith
but I begin to doubt the reality of it, that is when I pray…

Show me the way,
bring me tonight to the mountain
and take my confusion away
and show me the way.

I suspect that this is how the disciples felt that night in the Upper Room. Two conflicting facts. First, some of them had seen the risen Lord that very morning. Secondly, they still locked themselves in a room because they were afraid. I know the feeling. That’s when Jesus enters, Jesus enters our own lives when we allow fear to lock us away. He stands before them, full of light, energy and hope. And as he stands there, he says, “Peace be with you.” Hallelujah! With that greeting of peace comes the awesome awareness that we are not alone. Not even here in the darkness. God enters the locked rooms of our lives and affirms to us that not even our greatest fear, death itself, can keep God from being with us.

Show Me The Way.

But the doors are still locked, aren’t they? No one is quite ready to find the key for the lock. A week later and the disciples are still locked in that room. But this time, with Thomas. “It’s okay for you other guys to tell me you have seen Jesus, but, unless I see his hands and side there is no way I am unlocking that door.” So Jesus, once again, appears. “Peace be with you,” is his offering to Thomas. But this offering of peace is quite different. You can imagine the tension in that Upper Room when Thomas showed up. Some believing, some doubting, everyone arguing. Jesus then reminds them of the ministry he has commissioned them for. “As the Father has sent me, so now am I sending you.” Where? Out there?

and turn on the news
to find we’ve so far to go.
And I keep on hoping for a sign,
so afraid I just won’t know.

Show me the way, show me the way
Bring me tonight to the mountain
and take my confusion away
and show me the way.

So, here it is, 9:00 at night and I am standing in the middle of the street, air pumping, saying, or I may have even been yelling, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” because, when I breathe in the world around me, I feel lost. I feel like I’m drowning in a world that lacks a soul, a conscience, even basic humanity.
Two weeks ago, the U.N. declared that within 10 years we will have hit the point of no return with our environment. Admittedly, I’m a tree hugger, but we have gone so much further than that. I think of the provincial government cancelling e-testing for our automobiles. Cancelling the tree planting programs, you know the ones where you could get free trees to reforest areas? No more of that because balancing the books is apparently more important.
Then I see our Prime Minister up in Ottawa filling sandbags in an effort to control flood damage saying that something needs to be done with the environment. Anybody else confused here?

But every day I’m more confused
as the saints turn into sinners.
All the heroes and legends I knew as a child
have fallen to idols of clay.

Political debates in the U.S. have now come down to Trump and Joe Biden arguing over who’s in better shape. That’s the depth of our leaders? You and I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg as humanity melts into a sea of chaos; of wars, the bombing of religious spaces, shooting rampages, refugee camps occupied by millions, natural disasters, genocide, each of which we have the power and resources to resolve, but we just go on as privilege is protected and no one seems to care about what our brothers and sisters are suffering.

I close my eyes and know there’s peace
in a world so filled with hatred.
Then I wake up each morning
and turn on the news
to find we’ve so far to go.
And I keep on hoping for a sign,
so afraid I just won’t know.
****
When I get caught in the downward spiral of a dark hole, sucking everything around it into oblivion, when I don’t necessarily lose my faith but I begin to doubt the reality of it, that is when I pray…
Show me the way,
bring me tonight to the mountain
and take my confusion away
and show me the way.

I suspect that this is how the disciples felt that night in the Upper Room. Two conflicting facts.First, some of them had seen the risen Lord that very morning. Secondly, they still locked themselves in a room because they were afraid. I know the feeling. That’s when Jesus enters, Jesus enters our own lives when we allow fear to lock us away. He stands before them, full of light, energy and hope. And as he stands there, he says, “Peace be with you.” Hallelujah! With that greeting of peace comes the awesome awareness that we are not alone. Not even here in the darkness. God enters the locked rooms of our lives and affirms to us that not even our greatest fear, death itself, can keep God from being with us.

Show Me The Way.

But the doors are still locked, aren’t they? No one is quite ready to find the key for the lock. A week later and the disciples are still locked in that room. But this time, with Thomas. “It’s okay for you other guys to tell me you have seen Jesus, but, unless I see his hands and side there is no way I am unlocking that door.” So Jesus, once again, appears. “Peace be with you,” is his offering to Thomas. But this offering of peace is quite different. You can imagine the tension in that Upper Room when Thomas showed up. Some believing, some doubting, everyone arguing. Jesus then reminds them of the ministry he has commissioned them for. “As the Father has sent me, so now am I sending you.” Where? Out there? Passed those locked doors? But there are people out there in power who want to hurt us.
*****
“Just where did you think God sent me?” Jesus responds. “For God so loved the world, yes, this undeserving, self-centered, power-hungry world, God so loved even it that God sent God’s only begotten son into it. Not immune to it, but right into the depths of the hell it created. Yes, me, the one with the holes in his hands and the wound in his side. Do you think I died for you to inherit a paradise? Paradise is hard won. My victory will be your victory but in order to win it, you will need the kind of peace within that will abide, amidst your cross carrying, your own nails, crown of thorns and the cross. To be able to say through the denial, betrayals, and the inflicted pain, “Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” To be able to pray for your adversaries, to forgive them, to learn even to love them. Even at those times when all you see before you is the grave.
*****
Pastor Peter Coen-Tuff wrote, “Faith is not about having all the answers. Faith really helps us to acknowledge our grief, a shared grief within the world, and to continue to struggle with all the questions and the heartaches that go with it.” Peter wrote that for an Easter sermon he gave the week after his 29 year old daughter had taken her own life.

Show Me The Way.
*****
Jesus says, “Peace be with you,” one last time. This time the word he uses for peace literally means ‘life of the age.’ Life that was present from the beginning of time and lies at the core of creation. GOD. A life we sang about last week in the hymn, Lord, of the Dance, “I am the life that will never, never die.” The heartbeat of creation. Mother Earth. The rhythm of the universe. This is more than mind and body. This is what the Greeks called ‘zoe’, what we call the power of the Holy Spirit from which all life is created, through which all life is transformed. It is a power that elevates us from mere existence to life abundant. To a life filled with eternal values that allows us all to live in harmony forever. To live in the freedom of Love.

Show Me The Way.

Jesus does just that when he says to us, “Peace be with you.” A peace that allows you to know that you are never alone. A peace that allows you to not only endure the slings and arrows of the outrageous foe, but to transform them into blessings through love. A peace that connects us with all that is holy and eternal.

God, Show Us The Way!

About Wesley Church