The Road Less Traveled…Is Not Taken Alone-May 25, 2014-Graduate Sunday
John 14: 15-21
When it comes to the time to recognize our graduates I also remember back now over 20 years ago and try to think of what those times were like for me. I remember the television show the X-files. This was a show about government conspiracy, unexplained phenomenon, and the possibility of the existence of aliens. It started to be more of a cult or niche program but began to gain a wider appeal. I do not personally believe in aliens, but the show I think gained appeal for those in my generation because of what it represented. In the opening to each show where a few interesting clips, it introduced you to the main characters, and then ended with this phrase, “The truth is out there.”
The truth is appealing. People want to know the truth. I am reminded of the scene from the movie A Few Good Men, when Tom Cruise’s character says, “I want the truth.” Jack Nicholson’s character responds, “The truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Sometimes people think that the truth is appalling and so they try to protect others from it. The truth is honest, the truth is appealing, because the truth will set us free. The reality is that the truth is out there (but it’s not aliens), and the truth is also in our hearts. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” The truth is what we need to hear, and that truth is that we are not alone. We have a God who loves us, always has, and always will.
This message may seem to be directed at our graduates today, but truly these words are for the whole body because what they remind us of is that throughout life we will continue to go through seasons of change. It may be during those times that some will believe they are all alone and fall away from God, and others will run to God trusting, that the one who has always been can sustain us during times of change and transition. Change comes at all times in life. It could be the change of one school to another, transition to the workforce, leaving the workplace, losing a spouse, struggling with health, or dealing with family issues. There is no age limit to change in our lives, it is happening to us, and the greatest comfort we can have during those times is that we are not alone.
Some of the myths the world tries to tell us is that we are independent, we can do it alone, we can manage, we and our happiness is the highest authority. We will not get ahead by putting ourselves first. All of the biggest and lasting things in this world were larger contributions to society and man as a whole. People don’t seem to remember who won what championships but the people involved. We were created to be in relationship. Not long after the first human came on the scene God declared the first thing that was not good. It was not good for man to be alone. We were created to be in relationship with God and others.
The law and prophets are summed up in this love God and love others.
The good news of the gospel is that we are not alone, that God will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus declared that he is with us always even until the very end of the age. Jesus tells the disciples that they will not be alone so that he will send the Holy Spirit to be with them. They are never alone. We too are not alone. We have the Lord and we have one another. We are not called to be independent but were created to be interdependent.
He will never leave or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
This is the great new of the gospel it starts with the relationship of God to man in the Garden. It goes continues in God reaching out to man through Jesus Christ, then in the promise of the Holy Spirit, and lastly in Christ’s return in Revelation “behold the dwelling place of God is with man.” We are not alone and have never been alone. He is not a nagging God but an abiding God. This is what the world struggling through change needs to know that God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever is with them and for them.