“Things We Can See” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell
This week we embark on a journey with a good friend to The Park, The Rev. Mieke Vandersall. Mieke is sharing her incredible gifts with us in two complimentary ways. We will get to hear her prophetic witness this Sunday in worship, and she is also starting a three-week workshop called, “Examining Your Wallet: An Exploration of Money Matters from a Practical and Theological Perspective.” Mieke’s work is such a gift to our community and I hope you will join us on Thursday and Sunday!
This week, is tax week. People from around the nation will collect their receipts, think about their past year, and file their taxes. Taxes are one of those taboo things that people aren’t supposed to talk about in church. For some they can bring up feelings of anxiety and unease. For others, they are a helpful and necessary part of building community. It can be a challenge to joyfully support something that we don’t always see the fruits of immediately. It is always easier to believe in something once you actually see it. Which is why this week’s passage is so helpful, and a wonderful reminder that things are at work in the world, even when we can’t immediately see them.
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:36b-48 NRSV)
What would it take to be a community that invests beyond our anxieties and in more than what we can immediately or physically see? When Jesus is right in front of us, how often do we see him and step over him, or even worse, not believe it when we do see him. To see the risen Christ in our neighbor do we need to gain something, or experience something before we fully believe he is there? Jesus is walking amongst us, talking to us, asking us for food, and we are still scared.
Friends, a life in faith is not meant to be easy but knowing that we journey with the Risen Christ brings comfort and hope for our lives to come. This week, lets invest in ministries and visions of the church that we may not see but know they are in the sight of our Lord ready to bloom. Let’s prayerfully believe in the good news that we see and have faith in that which we don’t see yet. Because our God is here, among us, working with us, using us to build the kin-dom in real time with the gifts given to each of us.
I give thanks for the God at work who brought us all together and continues to love and support us each day of our life and beyond.