Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 27; 147:12-20, Jeremiah 10:11-24, Romans 5:12-21, John 8:21-32
Where do we find truth? Do we know it when we hear it?
We’d like to believe most people are truthful, but from earliest recorded history through up-to-the-minute reporting, deception runs rampant. Journalism has become propaganda. History has been revised and textbooks politicized. Facts are reduced to opinions then dismissed. Opinions and conjecture are elevated to facts and published as news. No ideology seems immune to these distortions. Information is more widely available than ever, yet it is notoriously faulty. If, as Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “the truth will make you free”… what is the state of our freedom?
In this age of moral relativism and political correctness, it is important to know what we believe and why. Our own memory and understanding are possibly the sources we rely on most for truth, and while for most of us they are thoroughly convincing, they can be surprisingly deceptive. We need reliable sources of truth, but they can seem few and far between.
Luckily – or perhaps providentially – some truths are eternal and immutable. Chief among them is God’s love for his creation. As we sift through the information overload that threatens to bury us, that love can be our barometer for evaluating many kinds of truth, such as matters of justice or compassion. Truth will move people toward freedom, love, and inclusion, not away from it.
Sometimes truth is not something that can be expressed directly. We may need poets and composers and other artists to point us toward it. Rationalism and materialism, while vital for revealing truths about the physical world, are not the only paths to truth. What is right and good may not make empirical sense. Sacrificing ourselves for others is quite counter-intuitive, yet the person who spoke the most important truths to us believed in it with all his being. The truth of the cross and resurrection exist somewhere beyond facts and historical accuracy, somewhere within our hearts. Truth is never manufactured, but unearthed by those with ears to hear and eyes to see. It makes us free when it is free.
Comfort: The truth is on your side.
Challenge: Be on the side of truth.
Prayer: God of truth and love, I seek you and your ways. Guide me to freedom. Amen.
Discussion: Has accepting a difficult truth ever set you free in some way?
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