Tag Archives: seeing

God has Come

Do you long to see God?  To know what he is like?  How he acts?

If so, the place to look is at Jesus.  How he lived his life on earth was how God behaves, what he would do.

God wants us to know him and see him – that is what Jesus showed us, and continues to show us if we look.

A Widow’s Son

11 Soon Jesus and his disciples were on their way to the town of Nain, and a big crowd was going along with them. 12 As they came near the gate of the town, they saw people carrying out the body of a widow’s only son. Many people from the town were walking along with her.

13 When the Lord saw the woman, he felt sorry for her and said, “Don’t cry!”

14 Jesus went over and touched the stretcher on which the people were carrying the dead boy. They stopped, and Jesus said, “Young man, get up!” 15 The boy sat up and began to speak. Jesus then gave him back to his mother.

16 Everyone was frightened and praised God. They said, “A great prophet is here with us! God has come to his people.”

17 News about Jesus spread all over Judea and everywhere else in that part of the country.

This story has immediate resonances with this weeks Old Testament Reading from 1 Kings 17.  This time it is Jesus bringing life back to a widow’s son.

But the result is the same – the people’s acknowledgement that here is a prophet.  And a recognition that God has come to his people.

Whatever else these events in Jesus’ life and ministry are for, they are to leave everyone in no doubt that God is here, among his people.

Are we looking to see him?

Are we seeking to be his presence that others may see him?

may I look
that I may see you.
Not just in the obvious
but in all the places you walk,
the unexpected places you work,
the reality you live in.

And as I see you,
may I live
that others may continue to see you


Shining Brightly 2

After focussing on the central dot. A green dot emerges at the revolving gap. Later the magenta coloured dots disappear completely.

This is an optical illusion.  Sometimes our eyes see what they think they see.  Equally our ears can hear what they think they heard.  Often because that is what we are expecting, or because our focus is gone.  I really struggle, because often my sight is blurry – especially if I’m tired.  I have to really focus to grasp what an image is.  Sight and hearing are things we take for granted – but don’t always use to their best.

We continue with the theme of Moses’ shining face:

2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

12 This wonderful hope makes us feel like speaking freely. 13 We are not like Moses. His face was shining, but he covered it to keep the people of Israel from seeing the brightness fade away. 14 The people were stubborn, and something still keeps them from seeing the truth when the Law is read. Only Christ can take away the covering that keeps them from seeing.

15 When the Law of Moses is read, they have their minds covered over 16 with a covering that is removed only for those who turn to the Lord. 17 The Lord and the Spirit are one and the same, and the Lord’s Spirit sets us free. 18 So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord’s Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.

Treasure in Clay Jars

4 God has been kind enough to trust us with this work. That’s why we never give up. We don’t do shameful things that must be kept secret. And we don’t try to fool anyone or twist God’s message around. God is our witness that we speak only the truth, so others will be sure that we can be trusted.

Wow!  God has trusted us with his work.  Wow!  Nothing scary then?!

But if we are going to be part of God’s work, we have got to listen to what he is saying and see what he is doing.  Are we failing to see what God is doing?   Or are our minds covered and closed?  Seeing only what we want to see?  Hearing what we want to hear?  Or are we opening up to becoming more like God and his ways?

There seem to be more questions there than answers.  But sometimes that’s how it is.  We need to ask ourselves these questions, and hear the answers honestly.  And then we ask the same questions of God – what is his response to where we are?  What is he saying to us?  Asking of us?  Where is he guiding us?

What work is he asking you to do?  Me to do?

Open my heart Lord,

open my mind.

Help me to hear with clarity,

see what is there;

that I may hear you,

know what work you are trusting me with,

and be equipped to go and do it

Seeing God – Day 15

Having lived in so many places, I often get confused when I see people.  Should I know you?  Do I know you? You look familiar, but am I confusing time and place?

Are people a face in the crowd. or altogether more significant to us?

I find Henri Nouwen’s words for today a touching reminder.  When I encounter people, what do I see?  Their appearance?  Their behaviour? Or God in them?

God is coming, but at the same time he is already here.  Are we looking for him?  Do we notice him?

My children always used to joke that wherever we went, I would find a sermon illustration.  Something in a situation would speak to me of God and his work.  I’m not sure I’m quite so hot on that now…

What is God doing in the people around us?  How is he coming into our lives through them and through his activity in the world?  Are we recognising the coming of the Lord?  Are we looking?

Mark 13:32-36

No One Knows the Day or Time

32 No one knows the day or the time. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know. Only the Father knows. 33 So watch out and be ready! You don’t know when the time will come. 34 It is like what happens when a man goes away for a while and places his servants in charge of everything. He tells each of them what to do, and he orders the guard to keep alert. 35 So be alert! You don’t know when the master of the house will come back. It could be in the evening or at midnight or before dawn or in the morning. 36 But if he comes suddenly, don’t let him find you asleep.


I pray for you to come,

to come into my life,

to come into the world;

but as I do,

I pray that I will recognise the places where you already are,

the work you are already doing.

Make my eyes open to see you,

to recognise you,

and respond to you.


May I watch and wait,

in anticipation,

in expectation

and in realisation

This year for Advent, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen.   You’re welcome to join us on this journey.  Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub

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