We live in such a visual world! Technology is shifting our preferences from verbal and written communication to the video snapshots found on YouTube and other digital channels. Smartphones bring that digital world to our fingertips. When events happen all around the world, we have visual access almost immediately. We can see so many things so quickly. This amazing access, while interesting, can fill up our days and divert our attention. Does all of this “seeing” help or hinder our “believing?”
In today’s scripture, Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Even his disciples, who were in his presence daily, could not grasp this concept. Philip says, “Lord, show us the father and we will be satisfied,” and Jesus responds: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?…Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.”
Jesus asks us to believe that he and God are one and that through Him we see God the Father. Believing without seeing is the way to the truth and life Jesus promises. Opening our hearts and souls receptively and then “being still and knowing” that God is with us is the beginning of a stronger faith. Finding the stillness, and disciplining ourselves to meditate, receptively seeking God’s presence is the challenge we face in our 24/7 digital world.
As we celebrate God’s gracious gift of Jesus Christ once again this Advent, let us remember to look within, to see with faithful eyes, believing that because of Jesus, called Emmanuel, “God With Us”, we are not alone. We do not have to be afraid and our hearts do not have to be troubled. May the deep peace of Jesus Christ be with you each day of this new year. Amen