The Scientific Method is one way of getting at the truth. Someone wants to prove a hypothesis describes a part of reality and constructs an experiment in an attempt to discover its validity. The experiment must be constructed in such a way that others can replicate it. If they come to the same conclusion it can be said the experiment is successful and the hypothesis was right. However, many experiments don’t prove the original hypothesis to be correct, but this can lead to new ideas and greater learning.
My father, and his best friend, Eddie, loved to hunt together. When they first began hunting Eddie would say, “Bob, did ya see that six-point buck run off into the palmettos.” But Dad wouldn’t see it (or it wasn’t there) and they would argue. Finally, they decided any sighting didn’t count unless they both saw it. The arguing ceased and they found great pleasure in the experiences they shared.
These days people are talking about truth: what is real and what is not, what is true and what is false, what are facts and what are alternative facts, what are lies and what can be called the truth.
I believe most people want to know what is true and real. We want to know that our plane will fly and trust that the science behind it is rigorous and honest. When we sit down with our nurse practitioner and our doctor we trust the science behind the diagnosis and the treatment has been scrutinized, reviewed and found to be solid. When someone says, “I love you,” we want to believe it’s true. To know what is true is to have a firm foundation upon which to live and move in the world.
Sometimes the truth is painful and we’ll have no more of it. Sometimes the truth contradicts what we believe and we become confused and distressed. Sometimes the truth clears our eyes and cleanses our hearts. Jesus said, the truth will set you free. No wonder people spend a lot of time and energy seeking truth. However, I believe the Truth seeks us.
The Bible contains the story of God continually seeking us out. It is the story of God coming to us again and again, making promises and fulfilling them, seeking freedom for all who are hungry, desperate, despairing and despised. God seeks us out, becoming a person and moving into our neighborhood. Jesus, the way and the truth and the life, shows us that true life is lived in humility, serving others in gratitude to the Truth, to the God that gives us life, frees us from slavery to sin, removes our fear of death; who comforts us, strengthens us, gives us hope and who loves us into eternity.
When Jesus said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” I used to think this truth had to do with facts, events or a proposition, something that could be argued or objectively experienced. Now I think differently. He’s talking about God. Follow Jesus and you will know God, and God will make you free to see the world as it is and as God intends, through the lens of love. At the end of the 13th chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he talks about love as a way of knowing. We think we must know someone before we can love them. He suggests we know only in part because we only love in part. God is all-knowing because of God’s all-powerful, everlasting, unmerited and inclusive love. This, my sisters and brothers, is the Truth. I swear it!
In joyful expectation of the coming Realm of Jesus Christ,