Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

John 1:29-42

29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” 35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”

37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When 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?” 39He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o”clock in the afternoon. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

Wallace's sermon today focused on Jesus' question, "What are you looking for?"

I was thinking at the time, "Well, obviously it's something the two disciples didn't want to divulge, because they answered his question by asking another question."

That's one of the oldest forms of "non-answer," well known by any adults who have spent any "not exactly quality time" with children.

"What are you doing in there?"

"Why?"

You can almost always bet in that instance, the kid was doing something he or she wasn't supposed to be doing, or at least something they are trying to hide from you.

I get the feeling there might have been a little of that kind of thought process going on with those two disciples. I can see them thinking things like, "What? What am I looking for? Does this guy really want to know? Does he really give a damn? What I want in a spiritual sense, well, maybe it's not good enough. Maybe it's not deep enough. Maybe I don't really know or am not sure. Uh, next question!"

So they change the subject to the equivalent to, as we say in NE Missouri, where ending a sentence with a preposition is perfectly okay, "Where you staying at?" Now, I'm not sure if that question is really "Where you staying at?" or "What planet are you on?" but they are evidently shown where He was staying, in either a literal or a literary sense...and they must have been okay with it. It convinced them He was the Messiah.

When Jesus said "Come and see," I wonder if the disciples thought he was answering THEIR question when in reality he was answering his own..."Come and see (what you're looking for.)" I say that because sometimes, when it comes to our heart's deepest desires, we don't dare even ask the question of ourselves. We aren't necessarily afraid of the answer (although sometimes we are), it's just that we just don't see ourselves worthy of the answer.

I think about this much in the same way I did growing up in an economically lower middle class family about asking for expensive things. I remember wanting things as a child that I knew I dare not ask for, because we simply could not afford it. To ask would hurt someone's feelings, or maybe they'd do without something themselves to get it for me. The price was too dear.

I do that with God sometimes. I don't ask for what I really desire. It seems too selfish. I don't like the concept of "Santa God.". Someone else might need it worse than I do. The fact that God has such abundance that we could all get "that thing" is meaningless and incomprehensible to me. Maybe I'm not sure that "what I want" is not "what I need." Maybe I'm dead wrong about my heart's desire. The bottom line is, I dare not ask. We have a saying around here..."Poor folks got poor ways." Too often, I probably go about having the "ways" of a spiritually poor person when I am actually more spiritually rich than I am willing to accept.

What little I've figured out about this dilemma is that although wild horses could not drag me far enough to make me ask for some things, I AM (slowly) getting better at the grace to accept gifts that God has handed me, and I discover that sometimes they are the things I would have asked for had I the courage to have asked. I discover that for everything in my life that feels "taken" from me in some way, if I just am open to seeing what I am looking for, I will find I have been given something at least as good to fill the void. But to see, the mind must know. We must be open to possibilities, think out of the box a little. We must "come and see."

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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