Tuesday 13 April 2021

Help my unbelief


Jesus said to Nicodemus, ‘If you do not believe me when I speak about things in this world, how are you going to believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven.’

From John 3:7-15


Ask a child to draw a picture of heaven and you’ll get an array of images. Sometimes it will be scenes of natural beauty like mountains and sunshine and streams, or there may be a flourish of football, or an endless supply of sweets. Perhaps there will be clouds in abundance with a few angels flying through the sky. Likewise, adults too will often describe heaven as a place where we catch up with loved ones and where your can enjoy in abundance all the things they loved in this life like bingo and football, parties and laughter.

When it comes to describing heaven we only have available to us the limited language of our present living. Jesus described heaven as being his ‘Father’s House’ in which there are many rooms. He didn’t mean a house of bricks and girders but he used the limited language available to express heaven as dwelling place, a living with God for ever.

The conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus illustrates the difficulties of expressing and understanding the Mysteries of God using our limited language. If you can’t grasp the things of this world, says Jesus, how can you cope with heavenly things? There is much that mystifies us, confuses and confounds us. But Christ has come from heaven to draw us into a living relationship with God. He speaks to us in ways we can understand although we can never master the Divine. We are drawn into a Mystery of Faith. Our questions will continue but perhaps like the father of the boy who came to Jesus asking for him to be healed we can say “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”


Lord God, I believe. Help me in my unbelief. Open my eyes and mind and heart to the mystery of your love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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