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Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, March 29

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “the hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.”
—John 12: 20-23

One of my earliest memories as a child growing up in the '60s was sitting in the den with my mom and dad, watching the evening news. There on the screen were images my toddler mind could not completely absorb, but that seeped deeply into my soul.

People with long hair were screaming and marching, carrying signs, and police were responding with batons and fire hoses. As a young child, I had no idea what was happening, but I knew it was horrible. And because I knew the police were my friends, I assumed that the people with the long hair were bad.   

So going to my grandmother’s house the next week caused a problem. In my grandmother’s bedroom was a picture of Jesus with long hair. I remember being scared of the very person I had been taught about in Sunday school. I wondered if he caused the same kind of trouble as the people on television. I wondered if following Jesus meant I would get in trouble too.

When the people come forward to the disciples declaring, “Sir, we want to see Jesus,” what image of Jesus was lodged in their minds? Did they think Jesus was about peace, comfort and  bringing goodness to all situations, or did they seek Jesus because he could reveal injustice? I wonder in my own life if I have become so accustomed to the Jesus of stained glass that I have forgotten the Jesus that pushes the boundaries of our hearts?

Which Jesus do you desire to see? Are you seeking that Jesus that looks just like you or are you ready for the Jesus so difficult for any soul to fathom?

Loving God, you give me your Son that I might see you and know more fully the Kingdom you call us toward. Grant that I may see Jesus, and seeing him fully, that I may do justice and love mercy. Amen.