John 2: 18-19
The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
I had to have surgery was when I was about 14. The doctors told me what they were going to do, including using anesthesia to put me to sleep. Because they had to review risks and benefits of the surgery, I heard what my mom heard, that there is a risk of death with any use of general anesthesia and abdominal surgery. That was all I heard, not the odds ratios, not the fact that surgery was unavoidable. Then my mom spoke up. “Honey, you need to trust me. I wouldn’t bring you here if I didn’t trust them and if I thought there was any chance you might die because of this. I have faith you’re going to be just fine. I want you to have that faith, too.” I was not ready to trust, but I knew I needed the surgery, so I fearfully prayed, and prayed, and prayed right up until the moment the IV medication put me to sleep.
In this day and age, and I would add especially just inside the doorstep of 2021, it may feel like we have all been told to distrust any information we’re given, especially something outrageous, from a source not yet well known to us. To Jews listening to Jesus make a claim like this (just after he has overturned the money changing tables and angrily driven out the merchants out of the Temple with a whip), it would reasonable to assume they thought him crazy. Foreshadowing his own death and resurrection, they believed him at that time to be talking about rebuilding the Temple that, after total destruction and 46 years of reconstruction, was still not finished. Granted, understanding he was talking about coming back from the dead would have seemed even more outlandish, but they were clearly not ready to believe either idea.
How do we handle it when we are asked to put faith in God, or even in someone flesh and blood close to us who has our complete love and trust, and the promise is beyond our wildest imagining? How easy is it to step out when we don’t see the ground beneath us but imagine, instead, the worst outcomes?
Dear God, thank you for believing in us and our abilities to spread your Love in this world, even when we don’t trust in your ability to take care of us. Help us with our belief when it fails; this world teaches us to distrust, but we know You are the one we can, and should, always trust. Amen.
Submitted by Noel Jacobs who has been a member of St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church for over four years with his wife Anne and their twins Keegan and Felix. He enjoys making jewelry for his family and friends and traveling with his family. He is a child psychologist who serves kids going through treatment for chronic health issues, and has recently discovered a love of making films that are helpful for teaching and encouraging kids and families.
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.