The theme for 2019 Joni and Friends Family Retreats was “One Way,” based on John 14:6. Chantal Huinink, Coordinator of Organizational and Spiritual Life with Christian Horizons, delivered a series of devotions based around this theme for the 2019 Christian Horizons Family camp, and we wanted to share them with you through this forum. To learn more about Christian Horizons Family Camps, visit our website.
In John 14, Thomas is quite concerned that he will not find the way to God on his own. Jesus answers him, saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).
Jesus provides reassurance that the journey of faith does not depend on whether we can see or understand God’s directions. Rather, it depends on our ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ and our willingness to trust him step-by-step.
Jesus’ example shows us ‘the way,’ which does not guarantee wealth or possessions but makes us rich in more important assets: faith, hope and love. We are never alone because God’s Holy Spirit journeys with us through all of life’s joys and struggles, reminding us of the truth that we are loved unconditionally. He invites us to put our hope in things of eternity rather than that which will pass away.
A question that often comes up with respect to intellectual disability is whether people can be baptized if they cannot articulate their faith commitment or do not appear to understand what the sacraments mean. Yet, whether we have a disability or not, understanding God’s way is beyond our human capacity. Thankfully, having a relationship with Jesus, God’s Son who embodies him, is not a matter of intellectual capacity.
Because Jesus is a Person, it means that when we receive the Truth we are not just believing or knowing all the right things – we are knowing and welcoming a Person. We must enter the Kingdom of heaven as children. How do we live into this childlike “way” more intentionally as we come alongside people?
Jesus acted in order that his words and actions would reveal God the Father. He was not concerned with people’s sense of success or personal honor. Rather, he sought to show God’s love to those whom he encountered. If you are a Christian, then Jesus lives within you and he will use whatever skills, abilities or disabilities that he has given you to reveal himself to others through you. If your intention is to bring glory to God through your life, John 14:12 declares that God will help you to do amazing things.
If you would like to learn more about intellectual disability and baptism, we have published a number of more comprehensive posts on the topic. You can find them here.