Scriptures: John :29-42
Let us pray:
In this assembly of your people, baptize us with wisdom, O Holy Spirit; to discern the calling of your voice. With your guidance over us, help our listening, thinking, and feeling transform us and lead us to action. In Christ’s name we pray; Amen.
Jesus asks, “What are you looking for?” We depart briefly from the Gospel of Matthew this week to consider this question. With a little more detail than Matthew gave us, John’s gospel tells us what happens the next two days after Jesus was baptized. From the Baptistizer’s perspective, can you imagine what John was going through and feeling each time as Jesus approached him yet again? This was the man for whom God audibly spoke! For whom God’s Holy Spirit descended in visible form and rested on him!
John’s clarity of sight in his vocation to “prepare the way of the Lord” allows him to see beneath the surface of who Jesus is in the world to who Jesus is in the spirit. “Look, here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Would that we had his clarity of sight.
But wait. Look up at one another. If you are ready to accept it, I tell you look, here is the Lamb of God! We are young, we are old, we are all human beings of this earth, but written in each of our faces I see healings and woundings, questions and answers, longings and passions, mercy and compassion. Each of these and more lurks beneath your surface – and my surface, too.
We are all embodied spiritual descendants of Christ, adopted heirs with Christ, the hands and feet – yea the very body – of Christ. And yet, each of us is also searching, longing, reaching still. In the midst of this state of being, Christ speaks to each of us, “What are you looking for?” Perhaps some may be looking for a Sunday only faith. Perhaps some are looking for a daily God-breathed reality. Either way, I pray all of us are looking for something a little deeper and more meaningful. I know I am.
Andrew, perhaps flustered at Christ’s question, buys a little more time by asking Jesus in return, “Where are you staying?” Christ answers, “Come and See.” Perhaps the same answer might be given to each of us: “Come and See.” No doubt, spending the whole day with Jesus was instrumental for Andrew. After that one day, he was convinced Jesus was the Messiah, and told his brother Peter exactly that. What if we responded in the same way?
Daring enough to go and see, and spend the day with Jesus? Would you hear him out, decide if the words he says are true enough to live by? What if you were daring enough to take Christ seriously? What does our faith tell us is the way forward? On this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, would you dare to pair teachings with action? The social, political, and environmental justice spheres of our current times cry out!
I wonder: for us, in our contemporary society, and perhaps especially this election year, finding the balance between living our lives embodying Christ and pointing the way to Christ is what we, as faithful followers of the Way, should be about. Steeped in Jewish tradition as he was, for Jesus, I am sure that included the famous quote from the prophet Micah: “And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
What is the way of Christ? What is the way of the Christian? Over the next several weeks we will be examining teachings from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. May our ears be unstopped, our eyes opened, and our very beings moved by compassion toward action for one another and the world.
May all glory be unto the one who lived, died, and rose again for us, even Him who is the Christ. Amen? May it be so.