a bit of a looker

18 01 2011

Being a bit more Captain Jack Sparrow than Captain America, John the Baptiser is not normally thought of as a bit of a looker. Unless you like the rugged type of course; a bit of a wild locust in your crazy beard might go down a treat with you, especially if you know Johnny Depp is somewhere underneath. But anyway, a looker he was.

He looked to the past and saw what God had done; he looked in the present and saw what God was doing; and he looked to the future and saw what God was about to do. He didn’t understand it, but he could point to it.

We read John 1 on Sunday and discovered John was a bit of a looker. I wonder if you can spot it too.

v29 John looked and saw Jesus coming towards him. John tells everyone to look at Jesus because he is important.
v30 John tells everyone this is who I told you to look for.
v32 John says I know this because I looked and saw the Spirit come down on him at his baptism.
v34 John says I looked and saw this is God’s Chosen One because I had been told what to look for.
v36 John saw Jesus the next day and said “Look!”
v37 John’s 2 disciples looked and saw and followed Jesus.
v38 Jesus looked at them and asked them a question. They asked him where he was staying.
v39 Jesus told them to come and look.
v41 Andrew went to look for his brother to tell him to come and look at who they had found.
v42 Simon came to Jesus and looked.
v43 Jesus went to look for Philip and asked him to follow.
v44 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him that they had found the one they were looking for, the one the prophets told us to look out for.
v46 Nathanael didn’t believe him; his prejudices got in the way. Philip told him to come and look.
v47 He went to look at Jesus. Jesus looked at him and spoke kind words.
v48 Nathanael looked confused; Jesus told him he had already looked at him.
v49 Nathanael declared Jesus was the Son of God.
v50 Jesus told him to look for greater signs including seeing heaven opening.

And so it goes on. Beginning with John the Baptiser, who did the brave thing and looked on his own; he started off the ‘following Jesus movement’; he encouraged his disciples to leave following him and to follow Jesus because Jesus was bigger than him. Because he looked and he saw.

This has a lot to say to us about looking and seeing. Because it is so easy to go through life with our eyes closed. Because we are busy, because we are tired, because we are fitting in our faith around so much stuff or because we don’t realise there is anything to look at beyond the rhythm of church and life. But we can be people who look. Who look at our own lives, who look at others lives, who look at what is happening in the world and then look to God and say What do you want me to see?

May that be our prayer for 2011. In this life, in this home, in this church, in this school, in this office, in this coffee morning, in this bus, in this coffee shop, in this pub, in this park, in this toddler group, in this TV programme, on this sofa, at this bus stop, in this car, in this film, in this blog, in this book, in this conversation, in this bible passage… what do you want me to see?

Then we can all be a bit of a looker. We might not understand what we see, but at least we can point to it.

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