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A Reflection for the 3rd Week of Advent –

Matthew 11:2 – 11

Key verse:  “Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see.”

John the Baptist was locked away in prison.  He wasn’t able to see first hand what Jesus was doing.  And he had a particular image of what Messiah was to look like.  In the Baptizer’s eyes, Jesus’s work wasn’t measuring up to his expectations.  He was confused and wanted clarity.  Was Jesus the Messiah or were they to continue watching?

When word of John’s question got back to Jesus, his response was to tell the disciples to go to John.  To share with him what they were seeing and hearing.  Rather than asking the question direction, Jesus was allowing John to make up his own mind.  But he needed to hear from others, what they were seeing and hearing.  He needed to hear their experiences of Jesus in order to come to his own conclusion.

In my first year of seminary, my first marriage ended.  It was a painful time for me.  One that had me bouncing back and forth between feeling guilty about walking away from vows made before God and knowing that the healthiest thing we could do was to end our marriage.  

For months I wasn’t able to feel the Spirit of God within me.  For months I struggled with feeling like a fraud because here I was in seminary at the same time as I felt abandoned by God.  What was I doing here in school?

Thankfully, I was able to see the work of God in my classmates as they stood with me walking this challenging path by my side.  I could see God at work in the world.  But not in my heart.  Not in my soul.  God was there.  I just couldn’t see God’s presence.

In time I began to hear my classmates’ words.  They saw God’s presence within me and they began to name what they saw and what they heard.  That’s when I began to pray to see and feel what they saw and heard.  I was reconnected to the God who had never abandoned me.  

Questions to ponder this week:

  1. Have you ever found yourself in a time of darkness where you couldn’t feel or see the presence of God?
  2. What helped you to get back to seeing and hearing God’s presence in your life and in the world?
  3. What do you “see and hear” about God’s action in your life and in the world?
  4. How are you being called by God to share those experiences?