Real Life Gordon
College Chapel, Spring 2010
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
“That’s life!” said the mechanic, as he closed the hood of my car. Wiping his hands on an oil-soaked rag and tossing it on the fender, he added “That’s how it is with these cars—sometimes they go forever, sometimes they just quit.”
Is real life like an old car: running fine one moment, and helplessly disabled the next? Life in the real world sure feels that way doesn’t it? Real life is unpredictable, riddled with ups and downs and filled with difficult decisions—decisions that don’t always have clear answers.
What is real life? Jesus says that real life—abundant life, life without end—consists in knowing God and Himself. According to John‘s Gospel, in the last hours of his time on earth, Jesus prays for his disciples and in his prayer he reminds them of the source of true life—knowing God and His Christ, Jesus. He also sets them up for trouble. They were to remain in the world, but not to be of it: to live their lives fully in the real world, but by a different set of values and rules. Surely a recipe for friction, conflict and trouble.
It is interesting that in the same discourse, Jesus brings together the notions of the source of true life and the trouble of real life. These two notions are brought together just a chapter earlier in John’s gospel when Jesus warns: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (16:33).
In Spring 2010 we will look at the topic of REAL LIFE; that place where the rubber meets the road and our faith meets the challenges of living in a world that is often at odds with the Kingdom of God. We will explore the resources of the Christian faith for dealing with the trouble we can expect in real life.