New Eyes

 In Pastor Jeff's Blog

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. – John 1:10

Have you ever noticed how often Jesus’ disciples failed to recognize him after his resurrection?

  • Mary mistook him for a gardener outside the empty tomb (John 20:11-18)
  • Two disciples mistook him for a fellow traveler on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-21)
  • The disciples mistook him for a stranger on the shores of Galilee (John 21:1-13)

Perhaps the point is simply that in resurrected form Jesus appeared a bit differently than in human form. Or perhaps Jesus’ resurrected appearance was so unexpected that the disciples’ minds simply couldn’t accept that this was Jesus.

But I can’t help but wonder if these stories aren’t also trying to say something to us. We proclaim that the resurrected Christ is all around us and within us, and yet we often fail to “see” his presence. Perhaps like the disciples we don’t really expect to see him. But what if we did?

Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.” What if we lived with the expectation that the miracle of Christ’s presence is around us and within us every moment of every day?

And if we want to see Christ in daily life we’re going to need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, perhaps especially the eyes of our heart, to see Christ in what we might otherwise see and sense as quite ordinary:

  • The sound of songbirds on the morning of a late Spring storm
  • The inner nudge to extend a word of encouragement to someone
  • A child’s laughter
  • The contented smile of a dying elder
  • A community of believers gathered for worship, lifting their voices in praise
  • Forgiveness and love hidden in ordinary bread and wine

Christ is there if we have eyes to see, and then we’ll truly see that we are never alone.

Christ is there if we have ears to hear, and then we’ll hear the whisper of the words our hearts most long for you, “You are my beloved child, and I love you.”

Dare to believe that the resurrected Christ is all around and within you. Pray that the Spirit would give you new eyes to see. Make it your spiritual practice to live wide-eyed and open-hearted this week.

I haven’t connected a song to a blog post in a while, so here you go. Watch and listen.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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