Show Me Jesus – Reflection for 14 May 2017
Almost twenty years ago, I mentioned to a co-worker that I was leaving a little early to go to something at church. She replied with surprise, “You go to church?!?” Obviously, time spent with me around the office did not seem like time spent around someone who was reflecting Jesus!
This moment comes flooding back into my mind as I read today’s Gospel lesson. Philip ask Jesus to, “Show us the Father.” Jesus replies, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?” In this case the observer, Philip, was blinded to the truth. In my, case it took an observer to reveal my blindness. Jesus goes on to make the bold statement that, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” How many of us would be bold enough to tell our unchurched friends that if they spend time with us, they will come to know Jesus?
Yet this question is at the heart of discipleship. We often forget that discipleship is more about showing than telling. It has more to do with formation than information. In our Epistle lesson, Peter challenges us to be like living stones and to be built together into a spiritual house. He invites us to live into our calling to be a royal priesthood. In worship, in prayer, in fellowship, in sharing ourselves with one another, we are formed and conformed into the image of Christ. Then, we are able to represent Christ to the world and the world to Christ as our priestly duty.
As idyllic as this sounds, the martyrdom of Stephen in our first lesson reminds us that this journey is not easy by the standards of this world. However, Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth, and the life. Regardless of appearance, any other path leads to confusion, deceit, and death.
Let us then walk together in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us walk as God’s own people. Let us walk so that we can be bold enough to invite others to encounter Jesus in our midst.