When attempting to gain support in the plight many of us face due to privatized Medicare for medicine, did not take an interest in what I had to say, but instead felt compelled to dwell on his own personal feelings and thereby take what I say as being a personal attack. In defense of his own personal means, he spouted “this is reality.” It was a personal view of reality based on his own personal survival in this world, not to be inspired to take an interest, collectively, in what many of us face. In the process, it comes off as being pessimistic. It is a reality, too, in which those forces most acceptable to the pharmacist are dictating with self-fulfilling prophecy, what “reality” is.
In the Our Daily Bread entry (“The reason for writing”) on Monday, March 8, 2021, there is a discussion about reality and pessimism. The writer, John Blase describes the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as being “diary account of God’s love for us.” “They’re words to read and believe and share, for they lead us to life. They lead us to Christ” (Blase).
The verse for this discussion is John 10:31. “But these are written that you may believe.”
Blase also says, “The apostle John didn’t sidestep the harsh realities of Jesus’ life on earh; he wrote both the good Jesus did and the challenges He faced. The final words from his gospel give insight into the purpose behind the book that bears his name. Jesus performed ‘many other signs… which are not recorded’ by John. ‘But these,’ he says, ‘were written that you may believe.’ John’s ‘diary’ ends on the note of triumph: ‘Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.’ The gift of those gospel words allows us the opportunity to believe and ‘have life in His name.'”
Arthur Jackson says, “In John we see Thomas as a pessimist and realist – inquisitive, human, honest. And he’s commonly referred to as ‘doubting Thomas’ because of his words in John 20:25 and Jesus’ response to him in verse 27.
“Doubting Thomas” was skeptical and pessimistic. He was a realist because he was not able to embrace what is described in an epistle as faith: “The assured expectation of those things not beheld.” When Thomas had asked, “so how can we know the way?” Jesus replied with, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” In other words, Jesus is the model of God for which we can get an idea about what God is about.
For the pharmacist and his personal reality, these words have special meaning to me. Reality is faith in God and collectively connecting to the Holy Spirit which emanates from God. Too much reality today, beyond just a pharmacist, comes from fear and intimidation. We can learn how to deal with fear by taking seriously the words of an Episcopalian, President Franklin D. Roosevelt who said: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That is truly the reality based on a faith in God. Note, too, that NY Governor FDR worked against fear in taking down the KKK in New York state so that New Yorkers voted for the first Roman Catholic governor, Al Smith. No fear, just do it. Gov. Al Smith then ran for the presidency on the Democratic Party ticket in 1928 and lost to KKK-endorsed Herbert Hoover. In 1932, FDR defeated one-term president, Herbert Hoover. FDR was not a “Doubting Thomas” and he had the reality of faith to stand up against fear. That is the reason I bring a former president into consideration regarding this gospels. It is not about politics. It is about having faith in God and not having fear of those who wave the Confederate battle flag. It is an issue about the basic life of human beings, not politics.
Finally, the Our Daily Bread article of March 8 asks the question, “How are you being led to the heart of Christ through [the gospels]? And the prayer, “Gracious God, thank you for the gift of the [gospels, diaries] written down by [Christ’s disciples] so that I might believe and have life.” Thanks be to God. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Not really supposed to say, hallelujah, during Lent, am I? Besides being diaries of the disciples (the gospels), scriptures are also NOT a rule book and I don’t follow religion from a rule book. I look for guidance and guidelines. This is something which was recently said in a religious column in The Press & Sun-Bulletin, by a pastor. The KKK has one religion and one religion only and it wishes to dictate to all Americans ITS idea of a god. Wonder who that god is? The KKK not only dislikes black people, but also Roman Catholics, Jews, and forward-thinking Protestants like FDR and many of us who are of the same way of thinking. We THINK, not just cherry-pick the Bible with a bias towards finding the parts which agree with human thinking and who listen to hateful speech of people who pretend to follow God, like so many of the non-American (Northern) Baptist denominations do (to name one example). Jesus Christ was not afraid to point out the hypocrites of his day. That was the reality of Jesus Christ.