Sunday, January 23, 2011

What Are You Looking For?

Ever hear one of those sermons that work on you all week?

This one did. (The Rev. Brian Cole 1/16/11)

It referenced this passage: The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” (John 1:37-39)

I appreciated learning about these first words of Jesus in the Gospel according to John. And, it's made me wonder. What am I looking for? A place to call home? God's love? Release from deep anger? Sense of security when I am afraid? Courage to forgive? Compassion to replace condemnation?

The response of his disciples to these first words is so ordinary, "Where are you staying?" And his reply? "Come and see"

The sermon cracked open for me the sub-text that was going on in this dialogue. It's about how Jesus invites us to come along on the journey, to see for ourselves, to find what we are looking for. To me, there is also a mutuality about it. It also means, Come, Jesus, come into my heart and see with me. Journey with me.

It's such a good question that I used it this week. I was greeting a walk-in at my work place. He was struggling with various ailments, one of which was inability to say his needs. He told me a long story, how he got to the truck stop before his car broke down, how he gave those people a ride, how he helped out his neighbor, how he gave money every week to this organization. And now, "What are you looking for?" I asked. It was, seriously, unclear what he wanted.

There was a pause.

Then he told me the other long story. He wants his car to be fixed, his unemployment to be reinstated, and several other things. Out of the litany of what he wanted, I just knew that I could not help. Nor could our organization. I referred him to 2-1-1 and he just blew me off. "They won't help me." As he opened the door to leave, he turned around and wished me well.

So, I sat with this question all week.

What are you looking for, in this moment? Come and see.

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