Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Today’s text

1 Peter 1:8-9

You have not seen him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described; and you are sure of the goal of your faith, that is, the salvation of your souls.


But I have seen you, Jesus.

I live in 21st century North America, not first century Palestine. I have not walked down dusty roads as did the privileged and fearful few who were your friends and followers.

I have not touched the literal flesh of your hand, watched the contour of your cheek when you smiled or reacted to the familiar timbre of your voice when happy or sad, angry or determined.

None of that lies within my experience.

But my stomach turns at the sound of these words, for I believe I have seen. I cannot read these words about not seeing without feeling false.

The scenes of your ministry are vivid enough in my imagination to provide moments of awareness in which I know, however partially, what it was like to walk with you, to be frightened by and for you, to bask in the warmth of your welcome and even to be corrected for my foolish fears and lack of care.

I have also seen your soul in the souls of people from more than one or two places and cultures, and I marvel at the vision, the willingness to bear pain, the hope and joy I have witnessed.

I believe you live because I have seen how you stir life and care even in souls who aren’t quite sure what to make of you.

You are not absent. You are not separate from the souls of men and women but dwell at depths unsearchable, and your presence streams out of us when the dams that block your way wear down.

I have seen your beauty, and it saves my soul each time I see it. It stirs your life in me, and I become a little more alive.

So I don’t want to hear about not seeing you. That is neither my perspective nor experience.

Instead, I will simply thank you for giving me enough vision to see what I need to see, and to know that it is you whom I see amid the faces.

Pr. David L. Miller

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