April 30, 2017

All We Need to Know

John 20:30-31; 21:25

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room . . . .

—  John 21:25

It’s April 30, two weeks after Easter. We’ve journeyed with Jesus from our world to ancient Jerusalem, and outside its gates, where he died for us, arose, and gave us new, eternal life. On April Fools’ Day we began by wondering if God had sent his Son on a fool’s errand, coming to live in our world as one of us. He had to go through Holy Week and the hell of Good Friday until he came to the glory of Easter.

From what we know of Jesus’ life on earth, his days were filled with preaching, teaching, healing, raising the dead, and, of course, dealing with opposition. He didn’t leave a diary or appointment book to tell us everything he did in his ministry, let alone during his childhood or teenage years. What did the gospel writers leave out? All we know is that they told us what the Spirit prompted them to write.

John ends his gospel provocatively: “Jesus did many other things as well.” But he gave us enough. “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” There was much more to tell, but what’s recorded gives us plenty. Christ lived with us, died for us, and rose victoriously. Now he sends us to share this good news. That’s all we need to know.

Almighty God, you’ve given us the story of all stories to share with our broken, fallen world. Inspire us and encourage us to tell others, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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