March 19, 2012

March 19: We wish to see Jesus

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By Paul Steury, Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center K-12 education coordinator
SCRIPTURES THIS WEEK: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12; John 12:20-33; Hebrews 5:5-10 (NRSV)
THEME THIS WEEK: We wish to see Jesus
DEVOTIONAL:

My wife recently decided to move her boutique store to a small shop with a big window on Goshen’s Main Street. It is across the street from The Window, an agency that provides services to help meet basic needs of the elderly and anyone with limited income.

As a loving husband with a desire to help my wife fulfill her aspirations, I have spent time removing the carpet in the shop and sanding off the old tar paper on the floor. It is beautiful now, but during the whole labor of love I kept thinking of this week’s theme and wondering how I would write about “We wish to see Jesus.”

And as I thought and pulled up dirty old carpet, I constantly saw a plethora of people congregated outside of the The Window, waiting for services or passing the day, including a gentleman in Army fatigues, a woman on a bench in a tight T-shirt in a windy 33 degree day and a bearded man who was there for hours talking to himself about something important.

And it made me think of the Scripture that says, “Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me — you did it to me.’

As my mom does regularly I need to make The Window part of my walk to seeing Jesus.

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Comments (7)

  1. This is powerful! I had the privilege of participating in a worship service on Saturday in which this thought was the focus of the sermon. Too often, we “walk past Jesus” because we ignore the “least of these” in our midst.

    I appreciate these meditations offered by Goshen College.

    Dollie March 19, 2012 |
  2. Awesome! Thanks for your insights.

    Susan March 19, 2012 |
  3. I need to make The Window part of my walk to seeing, too. Thank you for so exquisitely pointing that out.

    Joan March 19, 2012 |
  4. Thanks for your thoughtful devotional. I often need this kind of reminder .

    Mary K. March 19, 2012 |
  5. Yes, yes, seeing Jesus and like Veronica wiping Jesus’ face and offering tangible help, too.
    Beautiful devotional.

    marjorie March 19, 2012 |
  6. While there are plenty of biblical reasons to help poor, oppressed and suffering people, the portion you take from Matthew 25 is somewhat abused, I believe. I know this will sound like heresy, but, when interpreted as you and many others do, you look for Jesus in people who are just sinners like everyone else. You make them Jesus, whether they want to be or not, so that you can fulfill a need to serve. Can’t they just be who they are created in the image of God, worthy of love? I believe the passage in Matthew 25 you reference about the “least of these,” was originally intended to encourage Christians, sick, imprisoned, naked, thirsty, etc. to care for each other since they (we) are indeed as Jesus, the Body of Christ.

    Gary Olsen-Hasek March 19, 2012 |
  7. In these politically scary times, Jesus’s name is so often invoked to defend the powerful and the wealthy against some imagined exploitation by the powerless, the handicapped, the poor. Your meditation is a sweet reminder of our Teacher’s words and meaning.

    Tess Hoffman March 19, 2012 |