Mid Week Devotion 4/29/2020 “Show Me”
Good morning, afternoon or evening, depending on when you are watching this mid-week version of our online church presentations. I want to extend a greeting to those of who who are joining in today, however you found us, welcome! My name is Pastor Mel, I trust you find this space comforting and refreshing as we continue to journey through life in quarantine. It seems we will be sharing this space until at least the end of May.
Let us turn now for a moment of prayer.
God of truth, we come longing for the peace that only you can provide. Even the fleeting peace of this world seems to have abandoned us. We feel as if we have been tossed aside and left alongside the road. Let us come into your presence to dwell with you in this space for a while. Let us also understand that when we leave this space you travel with us. Help us to receive this day with worshipful hearts and praise on our lips for the beauty you share. Be with us as we continue to unify against our common enemy while joining with each other in the full knowledge of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Lord, be with us as we pray the words which you have given to us;
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
For ever. Amen.
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
DEVOTION: “Show Me”
One of the biggest issues with physical distancing is our inability to have a conversation in person. So we do our best to have talks over the internet for the time being. As part of our conversation today, I want to know if you feel like the longer this quarantine goes on the more we feel the dread of it all?
My answer is yes. Even though I know this time will eventually pass and life will get on like normal, I still can’t help feel the dread in the air. The longer this drags on the more I feel like it may even be worse than I imagine it.
My dread is about catching the virus, my thoughts are now looking to the future and wondering about what happens after we can venture out again. How many small business will not reopen, how many small churches have succumbed due to a lack of funding, how many jobs will no longer be available and more questions like this fill my head.
These types of questions led me to the scripture passage for today’s devotional. The disciples must have felt the more Jesus opened up about their future, the harder life might become. Like the disciples, you and I can get so caught up in our own little worlds, that we forget how much we are connected to the rest of the world. This virus has done a really good job of showing us just how connected we are.
Philip sees how much he is connected to Jesus vision of ministry, and he seems to have had enough. It’s like Philip was shouting, stop talking and show me. “Show me God, Jesus, just show me my God and that will be enough.” As I thought about Philip’s reaction, I had a kindred moment with him. The longer this quarantine lingers, I seem to be shouting, stop talking and just let me see God. Maybe we have all had these thoughts.
I imagine many people have felt like saying, “Where is God?” We are not satisfied with being told we need to stay at home for another month. We are seeking satisfaction. Waiting does that to us, makes us hungry for satisfaction. Philip wants to be satisfied, he wants he is fears relieved, he just wants to know where God is. Just show me, he says.
Each of us is confronting the power of something out of our control. We hate that. We need more than words from a television screen telling us to be patient or that we are in this together. That advice doesn’t seem to be working anymore. Actually, the more I hear those words, the more I think about those questions again.
Sometimes we just get tired of being patient and we want to scream out I just want to go back to church, I want to be with my friends and family, I need a face to face conversation. Lord, just show me that you are here. Frustration makes us shout out, I need to see God.
Frustration can be detrimental to our health. Seems like Jesus also feels some frustration as he responds, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip.” Go ahead and fill in your name here. Can you hear God speaking to you, can you not hear the voice of Jesus saying, “you still do not know that I am here with you?”
My friends, I have needed to listen for these words a few times since early March. To simply stop my questioning, slow my fears, set dread aside and know that God is with me. I need to be honest with you, even Jesus words are 100% satisfactory for me on certain days. I don’t think Philip was completely satisfied either. He remains silent as he hears Jesus speak again, “or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” Seems like Jesus knows we need more on certain days, so we are given something physically concrete to look for. Concrete can be satisfying because we have more sturdy footing on it.
Nothing like a nice chunk of concrete to stand on when the crazy world is constantly trying to knock us off our feet. The works of Jesus are the concrete we may need for this day. Can you see those works? It may be harder to see since we are in quarantine, but they are out there. God is at work in this world, feeding, caring, restoring, loving, healing and present in so many other ways. Your task this week is to seek out enough concrete, which is the good works, just enough to begin forming a small footpath that leads us up and back into the light again.
In this passage Jesus points to the works, as if to have us recall the times when joy overcame sadness; abundance replaced scarcity; walking replaced paralysis; hunger replaced by fulness. I am not just talking about the stories in the New Testament, I am talking about what is happening all around us in this world right now.
Beginning this week, there are two ways that could help you with this. First I want you to seek out the good works of Jesus in the news headlines. Look past the negative items and find where is Jesus obviously active? The second way is to come up with a plan to help you after the quarantine is over. What are you going to do as an individual or as part of a faith community to combat the lack of seeing the living Jesus.
If the words are causing frustration, then let us turn to the works and believe Jesus is real and active in this frustrating time.
May God’s peace be with you until we meet again,
Stay safe and God bless.