Readings and Pondering for Friday 8 March 2019: Lent

AM Psalm 95* & 31;   PM Psalm 35Deut. 7:12-16; Titus 2:1-15; John 1:35-42

John:

“When 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?’ He 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.” (John 1:38 – 39)

My Pondering:

I don’t know if the writer of John was intentionally making this connection but he has Jesus going back to where he was staying and inviting his new “potential” followers to “come and see.”  Moreover, we are given a time reference of four o’clock in the afternoon, when Andrew goes to get his brother and return, to end this introduction of a call to follow Jesus.

We understand that Jesus was crucified on what we call Good Friday at noon.  We think he died at three in the afternoon.  I ponder then that Jesus’ engagement with Andrew and the other follower of John the Baptist, was during these hours and a foreshadowing of Jesus coming to us and dragging those of us, who are curious enough, to follow him back to his heavenly kingdom.

The key question however comes to us from Jesus as he asks, “What are you looking for?”  I wish we had them to answer the question.  But they don’t.  They respond to the question with a question, “Where are you staying?”  Let us respond to Jesus.  What are we looking for?  More personally, what are you looking for?

I think curiosity and searching is a part of our human make-up.  I think we are born to search.  God made us that way on purpose.  However we get to choose “What” or “Who” we will search for.  We have searched to the ends of the earth just to see if it had an end (flat).  We are searching the outer most reaches of space and the depths of the seas. Archeologists dig without knowing what they will find; they just search and try to make sense of what they find.  We are searching for cures to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  We look now at our own genetic make-up so that we can search further into who we are.  Search, search, search, it’s what we do. So when Andrew and the other disciple looked into the eyes of “All Answers” they could only ask, “Where are you staying?”

Interestingly, when these searchers found Jesus, Jesus often re-identified some of them.  Jesus changed Simon to Peter and later Saul to Paul, new names for a new search.  So you get to fill in the blank of “I am in search of _________________.  Who will this search cause you to be or become?  In many ways I am like the archeologists; I just ponder and try to make sense of what I find.  But for all of us, we only have to follow Jesus and look into the eyes of “All Answers” and ask “Where are you staying?”

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.”  John Thomas Frazier Sr.

One thought on “Readings and Pondering for Friday 8 March 2019: Lent

  1. (An aside: great frustration after writing out a fairly extensive missive on my cell about this post, only to have it disappear when the screen reverts to its original screen cover, before it can be saved…)

    (Much) briefer response: Question 2, from the followers to Jesus: “Where are you staying?” Answer, from those same followers and from ourselves, after contemplation: Any place that the Cool Kid, aka Jesus, the personified God, is hanging out…. We may not get the total depth of the ethereal concept of God in us and we in God, but we at least have an inkling that there’s always love and peace and joy and lots of other God stuff that seems to be emanating from that Cool Kid, so we figure that if we stick with Him, we’ll be alright. Unlike the followers back then who got to walk and talk with the Cool Kid, we meet up with the Cool Kid through our encounters with people, through our encounters of prayer, meditation, and Bible study, through our encounters with nature. And we hope, way down the road, when our particular journeys comes to a close, to meet the Cool Kid up close and personal…. Like the Man said: “Come and see….”

    Back to Question 1: Jesus asks: “What are you looking for?” I think the answer is: Whatever floats yourboat… Jesus seems to want us to shake up our lives from time to time, get out of those comfort zones, go new places, meet new people, read new books, get new jobs. A quote from Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame rings true: “Change is the essence of all living things”. Living things, not only biological, but societal, such as mores/laws/rules, family structures, sports records, new forms of communication, artful creations, the Church… God means for us to grow, to be open to new ideas and experiences. Look at the main idea behind quantum physics: there is nothing solid; everything is energy, constantly in motion. Some energies move much more slowly than others, hence you see a table, for example, as solid. No one other than God can create energy or destroy it. The fluidity of time and space leaves open the gateway to infinity….And infinity always leads you back to the Origin, God. God allows us to shape energy in new ways, like the aforementioned table. There are so many potentialities, so many energies we can pursue. Look at Jesus, for example: he was a son, a brother, a carpenter, a student in the temple, healer, a teacher, a social activist, and whatever else he did during those “lost years” between 12 and 30. Pursuing those potentialities had Jesus grow in wisdom and knowledge, all for the glory of God. Those same choices, as well as so many others, are there for us to pursue, to dedicate our efforts that please us, whether it’s re-building a classic motorcycle, graduating from college, planting a thriving garden, or being the best parent to one’s child, to God. To God be the glory.

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