The `Truth' Found in Christ Is Proven in a Relationship
The following are excerpts from a sermon given yesterday by the Rev. John W. Bengston at St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church in Silver Spring.
Two friends who are balloonists took their hot-air balloon up one Saturday [but] they got caught in turbulence and came down over terrain they didn't know.
Finally, they saw a man below and yelled out: "Where are we?" And the man looked up and said, "You're in a hot-air balloon."
And one balloonist said to the other, "That man's a preacher." The other said, "How do you know?" "Well, what he told us is absolutely true, and it's completely irrelevant."
Jesus said, "If you continue in my word you truly are my disciples, and if you will know the truth, the truth will make you free" [John 8:31-36]. Is that completely irrelevant? Or is it the very ground of life and faith and hope? We are here because we embrace it as the very essence, the core of life. Jesus is the truth, and the truth makes us free.
But not everyone holds these words with the same value as we do. To some, the words of the Lord are just an option among the many religious alternatives available to people. But to us, it is the truth of God, delivering to us the word of eternal life.
I looked up the word "truth" in the dictionary. There are 10 definitions of truth. . . . The second one is "conformity to fact or reality." . . . What do we accept as truth?
Today is October 26, 1997. True? Sure, if you use that calendar. But if you use a different calendar, as many people in the world do, then it's not true to them. . . . Last year, the New York Yankees won the World Series? True? If you don't know, you could verify that. Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen make water. That's true. We can scientifically verify that. . . .
But you can't believe everything you read, can you? How do you discern what is true? Some of you know that I exercise by jogging several times a week. So far this year, I've jogged over 900 miles. Do you believe that? The only reason you believe me is you trust me. That's the kind of truth Jesus came with when He said He is truth and the truth makes us free.
We believe in the words of Jesus because we have lived in a relationship of trust with Him. He has spoken. …