Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus.  The Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 22, 2015

 

Open our eyes, Lord,

we want to see Jesus,

to reach out and touch him,

and say that we love him.

Open our eyes, Lord,

and help us to listen.

Open our eyes, Lord,

we want to see Jesus.

Bob Cull

Lent draws to a close this week. One more week to focus on that personal work, The secret work of prayer, fasting, charity, and forgiveness, examining our selves and our relationships with God and one another, in order to live and walk more nearly as the people Jesus is calling and leading us to be.

 As we listen and try to follow in his footsteps more nearly, we find him drawing us together.

 St. Luke’s, like every parish church, is a nexus where our efforts at living intentional Christian lives brings us together, to coordinate and bring what we have found in the dark out into the light, public visible accessible to others.

 In the church we reveal that God is transforming us into a larger body, with eternal life and purpose, and we proclaim the risen Christ continues to work through us.  We are living members of his body, joined by the love we share for him, and the love he has written on our hearts. So when we want to see Jesus we have to look no farther than our hearts, our hands, and the work we are doing as his church.

This past week at St. Luke’s I saw Jesus working in countless ways through the ministries of this parish.

 A member of the Pastoral Care team sought persistently and found several members of the parish who can’t make it to church for one reason or another and she shared that face to face fellowship that is at the heart of everything God is doing in Jesus.

Jesus saved lives again this week at the VIC HOP through members of St. Luke’s who prepared and served a hot dinner took turns watching through the night so that 24 of our homeless neighbors could have a warm safe place to rest.

Through the generosity of St. Luke’s members Jesus fed the hungry at the Spaghetti Supper, which along with literally serving up a couple hundred meals, raised thousands of dollars for our local food bank.  

 And he provided financial and spiritual support to several struggling souls who came through our doors as they do every week, including one young mother who has never been able to forgive herself for mistakes made years before. Jesus does forgive, and his call went out to her as it does to all of us, to follow into the present free from the burdens of debilitating guilt.

Through members of our Stewardship of Creation team, Jesus studied all the ways we use energy in this building, and sought ways to reduce our use of carbon-based fuels, increase our use of renewable energy, especially solar power, and increase efficient use of the energy we do consume.  Because, of course, he cares for the whole creation, as he calls us to care for those who come after us.

Jesus gathered the hundred children of our Day School to Chapel last week as he does every week. They learned his Prayer, and thought about how calling God Our Father, means we are all his children, brothers and sisters one of another. 

And yesterday Jesus gathered, comforted and encouraged over 300 family and friends of an Ethiopian immigrant who died on March 2, at the age of 33, just six weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer on January 24. Here they lit candles and told stories about this kind and generous brother in Christ who never lost faith in God and who encouraged his wife and four month old son to keep their faith, remembering that God never gives pain without purpose.  And to never forget that by his death he would always be with them.

In today’s gospel some Greeks come to the disciples and say, “We want to see Jesus.”  When Jesus hears this he knows that the hour has come for him to offer himself for the new life of the world. He says again what he has said before in other ways.  His death will be the beginning of new and unending life, not just for him, but also for all who will come into life in him.  And when we want to see Jesus now, we have to look no farther than the work we are doing as his church, the living members of his body, joined by the love we share for him, and the love he has written on our hearts.

Lent draws to a close this week. The season for examining our selves is drawing to a close.  Next week, beginning with Palm Sunday, we will give over all our attention to the mighty acts by which he conquered the world and brought true life and immortality to light and established his kingdom forever in the hearts of his people, a new covenant, a new an unending life of love, forgiveness, healing, and service through his body, our body, the Church.