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Happy Spring, Buckie! How in the world are you? I know it’s spring, because my calendar says so. Today it’s cloudy and rainy, but the days are getting longer, the daffodils are blooming, and the gorse is too. I’m just waiting for the broom to blossom and I’ll be content until the leaves start popping out.
You are listening to Radio Free Buckie. I’m Sam Burton and I’ll be your host for the next few minutes.
In case you’re a brand new listener, and we have some every week, thank you very much, all of you who promote this space, but if you are new, we’ve been looking at some things in the Gospel of John in the New Testament. But before we go there this week, I want to talk about something very personal to me.
Yesterday, I got word that my auntie, my mum’s baby sister had died. I was stunned. First, I didn’t even know she was sick until last week. And she’s been really ill since we’ve lived here in Buckie. I felt really bad about that. And secondly, she was a little more than a year younger than me. My mum was the oldest of six children. My aunt Star, was the youngest.
Until I was about 15, we were very close. We would play together, go fishing together, ride horses when I was in Florida to visit. But after that, we kind of drifted apart. Not in an ugly way. It’s just that our world, our lives took different paths. The last time I saw her, was at my Mother’s funeral in 2006.. That’s a long time.
We talked via Facebook, who doesn’t? But I haven’t seen her in 13 years. And now she’s gone. I have lost a lot of people I love. Both parents, my grandparents, several aunts and uncles, some cousins, and one granddaughter. That’s a lot of goodbyes.
I haven’t been very good at staying in touch with folk. It’s just the way I’m wired. I’m kind of like a dog, I live in the moment. Where I am at, and those with whom I interact currently are very important. But at times like these, I feel kind of bad. A couple years back, one of my lifelong best friends died of cancer. I hadn’t seen or spoken with him for 25 years. When I heard he’d died. I spent a couple days grieving and thinking about all the good times we’d had together.
I guess I’m never going to be a very good relative or friend when it comes to keeping in touch. I’m such a goofball that way. But I have some compensation. I’m going to see most of them again. I don’t say that out of some maudlin churchy way of thinking. It’s not some wishy washy thing Christians say to make ourselves and others feel better at funeral time. It’s something I truly know, in the core of my being.
Jesus rose from the grave. I’m going to talk about that at length when we get to Easter time, in about a month. But three days after his gory execution, he showed up for breakfast. And that changed everything. It’s not just some religious mumbo jumbo. Look into it. Do your own homework. And because of his death and resurrection, all of us who believe IN him, know we will be reunited one day.
Yes, someday I will hug my Mum and Dad again. Because they were also believers. And they showed my Jesus. I will see my friend I just told you about. I will get to hold my granddaughter whom I never met because she was only 10 weeks old when she passed. I will get to tell them all how sorry I am for not staying better in touch. Until then, I wait.
The reason I’m telling you about all this, is because you can know that no funeral ever has to be goodbye. It can be, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite. I’ll see you in the morning. That’s such good news. There’s a song we sing in Church that goes like this, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future. And I can face uncertain days, because he lives.”
There’s one other thing about my auntie’s death that I want to share with you. Never ever miss an opportunity to say I love you to those that matter. None of us know when life will put a veil between us and opportunity will be lost. Send an email today. A text. Make a facebook post, some facetime maybe. Knock on a door. Write a letter. Life is short. Way too short. Take every opportunity to share your love with your family and friends.
Ok, after all that cheerful talk, let’s look at the first part of John Chapter 7. These verses are so real that I almost have a hard time believing they are put in the Bible for us to read. Yet we hear so little about them.
Let me set it up. If you remember, Jesus had just fed the multitude with bread an fish in the Spring. The people were so worked up about that and His teaching that they wanted to force Jesus to become King. But withing 30 hours of that moment, much of the crowd walked away from Him forever. Jesus was so discouraged about that, he asked his 12 apostles if they were going to leave too.
Are encouraged that Jesus went through DIScouragement? I am. Because I know he understands when I go through it. And here’s the kicker. Chapter 7 happens about six months after what took place in chapter 6, and he’s still discouraged.
See it says the Jewish feast of booths was about to take place in Jerusalem. That happens in sept. october time. This year 2019 it will be September 13 through 20th. The events in Chapter 6 happened in the spring about mid April. We know that because it says so. It says it was close to the Feast of Passover. That always happens in the spring. I love the way the Bible lets us know stuff like that. It’s not just about spiritual things that are all airy fairy. It’s about real life, real time real space.
Anyway Jesus has kept preaching, and doing miracles. He’s focused. But he’s been discouraged for about 6 months. And now his own brothers, his flesh and blood family, cause him grief. See they don’t believe in him. That’s significant. It shows us that the Bible is real. Jesus own family didn’t believe in him at this time.
There is nothing that hurts more that family not believing your message. We all want the support of family. So here is Jesus, the crowds have dwindled, and even his own brothers are making fun of him. He’s so sad.
Jesus is so sad, he’s ready to skip church. He tells them he’s not going to the feast. You all go, he says, I’ll just stay here. Wow. Jesus is so sad he decides to skip church. I bet you’ve felt that way. Jesus understands. But here’s the kicker. He goes anyway. He goes secretly. I don’t know. Maybe he dresses in disguise. But He love God more than his bad feelings. That sets such an example for me. Then about half way through the week, he ends up going to the temple and teaching the people.
First, he wasn’t going to go. Then he goes in secret. Then he ends up teaching the crowds. What an example. He is discouraged as heck. He knows there are people in Jerusalem who don’t like him, and he knows there are people there who want to kill him.
But in the end he can’t skip going to church. He can’t skip teaching the truth, even though it could cost him his freedom, and his life. That’s how much He loves us.
This section tells me so much about the MAN Jesus. We often talk about how many things in the Bible prove His deity. But this one proves he’s not in disguise, like clark kent. He really is a human, he’s not just dressed like one. He understands he gets it.
That’s somebody I can follow. I hope you can too. Go back and read the first 25 verses of John Chapter 7. It will be a genuine revelation. And don’t forget to let your family and friends know how much you love them.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Thanks for tuning in. I’ll talk to you in about a week. Happy Spring. I’m out.