This weekend I have been helping lead a Partnership for Missional Church cluster event, which is a three year process of helping churches develop spiritual practices and discernment in their contexts, equipping them to be adventurous and experimental in their attempts at hearing God already at work in their communities, partnering with “people of peace” there, and announcing the Kingdom of God via innovative projects which seek to work with these “people of peace”.
Each year, we dwell of a particular passage of the Bible and attempt to listen to what God may be saying to each of us through the meditation on the passage, and listen each other into free speech so they can articulate what they believe God is saying to them at this time. This year we’re dwelling in 2 Corinthians 4:1-12 which contains within it the following words:
“We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.”
2 Corinthians 4:2
A couple of us were struck by this verse, particularly in the light of “post-truth” being the Oxford English Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” for 2016.
The question arose “What is truth?” A question which is not new, and is recorded in the Scriptures from the words of Roman governor, Pilate, at the trial of Jesus in John 18:28-38…
“Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?””
This struck me as incredibly interesting, for Jesus earlier had made the following statement about himself in John 14:6…
“I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Jesus here is claiming to be the way, the truth and the underlying One who is the giver of all life¹ (some might recognise this as the Green Man in their tradition, as do I).
Going back to the interaction between Pilate, the One who claimed to be the truth, was standing before the one who asked “What is truth?” Pilate was asking the wrong question in that interaction, focusing on truth as an ideological set of assertions related to facts. “Who is truth?” would have been the question Pilate would have been better asking at that time, when presented with the Truth before him.
In a “post-truth” world, where “FAKE NEWS”is loosely banded around, companies are specialising in creating distortions of truth in order to raise revenue from curious web surfers clicking on their links, and social media is manipulated to change public perceptions and hence ascend into governance come voting day, many are making the same mistake in asking “What is truth?” rather than “Who is the Truth?”
The Cosmic Logos (Word), the Truth, Jesus Christ, present in bone, marrow, flesh and blood, is the One who is the Eternal and unchanging Truth in a world which is suffering from the relativising of truth as it has moved truth from an non manipulable Being to manipulable objects.
Through a guided audio meditation I invite you to meet the One who is the Truth, Jesus, who is the Risen and Ascended One who has passed into the higher realms to become ever present in the fabric of the Creation. Find yourself a comfortable place, lying or sitting down. Put aside fifteen minutes and maybe light a candle before you begin. It may sound strange at first, but having used this in a variety of spiritual settings and fairs, those who have taken the time and journeyed with it have reported a profound experience of meeting Jesus during and after it.
¹ The latter part of this verse I take as being there are many ways to come to Jesus Christ (and Jesus appears in many forms, both within the Sacred Texts as well as in the modern world), but being the incarnated presence of the Eternal Trinity I put forward that it is he who is the One worth encountering as the way to the complete expression of the Eternal One. Many times the Church has created layers of human understanding of who Jesus is, whereas I’m suggesting meeting the person of Jesus and see what happens.