In the movie version of “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy comes to a fork in the yellow brick road and wonders aloud “Now which way do we go?” A voice responds, “Pardon me, that way is a very nice way.” “Who said that?” Dorothy asks and Toto begins barking at a pointing scarecrow. “Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.” Whereupon the scarecrow points in the opposite direction and says “It’s pleasant down that way, too.”
We’ve all been there or somewhere close to it. We come to a fork in the road, not certain of which way to go, and receive conflicting advice (unsolicited and often from the same source) on directional possibilities. The company has downsized and you’ve been laid off. Now which way do we go? The kid has finally graduated college but can’t find a job and wants his old room back. Now which way do we go? The lab report is inconclusive and there are eight different options for treatment. Now which way do we go? It’s hard to pray and Sunday morning worship just doesn’t do much for me, but I should draw closer to God. Now which way do we go?
Perhaps that’s where the disciples were. Gathered in a room in Jerusalem, they are startled when Jesus washes their feet and distressed when he tells them that he is leaving them. “I’m going to get a room ready for you,” Jesus says, “and you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas (whom I think would be better labeled Bold Thomas than Doubting Thomas because he is bold to say what the rest of us are thinking) says, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. Now which way do we go?” And Jesus, rather famously and frustratingly answers, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
It’s the last sentence that causes most people trouble (what does that mean “no one comes to the Father except through me?”) but I would argue that the sentence before might need a moment or two of conversation as well. What does Jesus mean that he is the way, not to mention truth and life? What way is that? Now which way do we go?
This Sunday, Palm/Passion Sunday, we’ll take a look at that passage (John 14:1-11) for a few moments, try to discern a bit about what it means for the direction of our lives, squint to see which way Jesus is pointing, and reflect on what it might mean to walk the Jesus Way. Then, we will hear again the story of the way Jesus takes – the Way of the Cross.
I hope you can make all the right turns at all of your intersections and forks in the road and make your way downtown Sunday to join us as we enter into Holy Week together. See you on the Way.
Grace and peace.