We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

John 14:1-14 – “Jesus is the dam that holds us when the levee breaks.”

From “Christian Century” – Jared E. Alcántara

“…In times of quiet desperation, Jesus says to us what he says to his disciples: I will be the dam that holds you when the levee breaks, the tunnel that brings you through to the other side when you’re stirred up, unsettled, thrown into confusion. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me.

“The disciples need to hear this. Jesus has just told them he will be with them “only a little longer.” Now he tells them he’s leaving. He will come back to get them but has to leave them first. They don’t need to worry, though. They already know the way.

“Thomas asks the same question that is likely on the other disciples’ minds. “If we don’t know where you’re going, how will we know the way?”

“Jesus’ answer has often been used as a religious litmus test, at least in North America. The way, truth, and life. To get to the Father, you’ve got to go through Jesus, like he’s some kind of bouncer standing by to vet our access to the triune God. In or out, pass or fail.

“This seems like a strange thing to say right after telling followers not to let their hearts be troubled. Don’t get me wrong: Jesus makes exclusive claims, and he has hard teachings. Even these words have an edge to them. But the first task is to discern what Jesus is saying to those who believe him in his context—before making conclusions about what he is saying to those who do not believe him in ours.

“What if Jesus wants to reframe Thomas’s questions from “where” and “how” questions to “who” questions? It would not be the first time that he answered a question someone wasn’t asking. It would make more sense after telling his followers not to let their hearts be troubled. So, you want to know the way? You have a person. So, you want to know the how? You have a person.

“Do you know anyone who has no desire whatsoever to find a path, to learn the truth, or to experience life? Now consider the possibility that all three—the path, the truth, the life—can be found in a person. That is what Jesus is saying here, and it is good news.

“When the rains come, when the waters rise, our temptation is to look for answers to our “where” and “how” questions. In those moments—in all moments—there is one who stands before us, one in whom and through whom is the way, the truth, and the life. When we do not know the way, he will transform our questions into better ones. When our hearts are stirred up, he will hold us through the storm.”