Signposts: Daily Devotions

Saturday, October 24

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I believe that there is a way of hearing these words as a gracious Christian affirmation rather than an exclusivist claim of Christian superiority. It rests on the Christian experience of God as Trinity. We speak of God the Father—the Creator who continually pours the divine life into all that is. Wherever that work and presence of God is experienced or recognized, it is the active Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, revealing God’s grace in the world. All of that activity is energized by the Spirit of God, uniting everything in a dance of creative love. We experience God as One: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We who are Christians have seen God most fully revealed in the human life of Jesus, the Word incarnate, the human face of God. And so we name the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus. Wherever and whenever God is revealed, Christians recognize the presence of Jesus.

So, when the Dalai Lama speaks of compassion, we recognize the Spirit of Jesus in the same holy words that the Dalai Lama uses to describe what he calls the Buddha-nature. When a Hindu woman speaks of the courage of nonviolence, we recognize in her words the Spirit of Jesus whose brave cross soaks up human violence unto death.

When a Muslim teacher explains his desire to surrender to God, we hear in his willingness the Spirit of Jesus’ obedience to the Father. When a Jewish rabbi teaches about the ethics of right living, we honor the way of practical discipleship as we hear the voice of the rabbi Jesus calling us to a holy life. Whenever and wherever there is the revelation of anything that is good, anything that is true, anything that is beautiful, we who are Christians rejoice, for we recognize the Spirit of Jesus manifest. And we can honor and respect the diverse traditions through which that goodness, truth and beauty is expressed.

Jesus is our window to the divine—the way and the truth and the life. We walk hand in hand with Gandhi and Heschel and Rumi and the Dalai Lama, as they follow their own windows into the way and the truth and the life. We can recognize among us a parallel way, a complementary truth, and a unified life. Indeed God has many dwelling places.

Jesus you are the way and the truth and the life. Open our eyes to see you as you are revealed in all of the ways and the truths and the lives in the goodness of God's creation. Amen.