A laywoman from one of the churches in our Wisconsin Conference told a story about her grandson. Her little grandson has been receiving treatment for leukemia but his cancer, thank God, was in full remission. The three-year-old boy had a routine check-up at the doctor’s office. He sat up on the examining table, his little legs hanging over the side, while the nurse got a stethoscope. “What’s that for?” the little boy asked. “I’m going to listen to your heart,” the nurse told him as she held it up to his chest. After a moment of silence, the little boy quietly asked her, “Do you hear Jesus?”
Sometimes our faith, so often difficult and confusing, is simple – “Do you hear Jesus?”
We begin the season of Lent acknowledging that we desperately need those who would speak the Gospel by following Jesus’ example. In our present culture of greed and violence, we need an example of selfless service rather than self-serving greed. We live in a one up/one down culture – where we want to divide people and situations into winners and losers. And yet here is Jesus, the one whose name is exalted above all others, who ties the towel around his waist and goes down to his knees; who washes and heals; who acts as servant. How different an example Jesus provides us from those who surround us in our culture.
I remember UCC pastor and scholar Douglas Meeks commenting on the lack of young people in our churches by saying the problem is we are not different enough from the world to interest our children. What kind of example do we set? When our children listen to us, do they hear Jesus? When they watch us, do they see Jesus?
Will we faithfully follow the example of our Lord and Savior and devote ourselves to healing, to serving others? In us, will others hear and see Jesus?
Your friend and fellow minister,
Rev. Steve Savides