Years ago, I read something that sounds kind of odd: "The reason mountain climbers are tied together is to keep the sane ones from going home. Whoever said that was spoofing a bit. Anybody knows mountain climbers are tied together to keep from getting lost or going over a cliff. But there's another piece of truth here. When things get tough up on that mountain, when fear sets in, many a climber is tempted to say, "This is absurd! I'm going home."
The life of faith can be like that--doubts set in, despair overwhelms; and the whole notion of believing in God seems absurd. Jesus knew his followers would have days like that. So he said you all are tied together like branches on the vine-or like climbers tied to the rope-tied together by the Spirit, to trust in One who is always more than we can understand, to keep us moving ahead on the journey of faith, to encourage us when believing seems absurd.
Every generation faces new questions and perplexities. Does the sun revolve around or vice versa? Should nuclear weapons ever be used against an enemy? Is welfare the best way to bear one another's burdens? Jesus knew there were things sacred writings didn't address, things he had never talked about. But he added, "The Spirit will be your tutor, guiding you into all the truth."
We're in some pretty perplexing times, sticking close to home, physically untethered for fear of catching the virus. But, we are still tied together in Jesus. We feel a tug on the rope whenever we are tempted to settle for answers that make more sense but cannot give life. We feel the Spirit's guiding when we have lost our way and question the path we should take while staying connected to each other in Christ Jesus.
We've got a mountain before us. Grab the lifeline. Hold fast to God's Word.
Worship. Pray. Hang on. Wash your hands. Stay home.