To show people Jesus

In this Sunday’s gospel reading, we see a group of outsiders come to the disciples saying: We want to see Jesus. Nowadays it is a popular thing for churches to have mission statements. We even have one here at St. Tim’s: “We strive to embrace all people with the love of Jesus.” But, more and more, I hear from people outside the church who don’t really care what a church’s mission statement is as a community. Rather, they care about the church’s lived mission. Truth is, I think that’s what most of us care about. One of the most unexpected mission statements I ever heard came from the heart of our tradition: Canterbury Cathedral in England. They say their mission is: To show people Jesus. I love it precisely because the response is, “How do you do that?” It speaks to living the faith daily by using our bodies, our words, our lives and proclaiming the good news we know as a gift for all people. In the gospel this Sunday, people come looking for Jesus. They’ve heard of his love, his mighty works, maybe even how he’s reaching out to people just like them. They don’t ask for someone to tell them about Jesus, they don’t ask people to tell them about what he has done or might do or even who they believe him to be. No, they want the real deal: We want to see Jesus. People all over the world still hunger for this; we hunger to see Jesus. And the truth for us today is that the world will see Jesus through us. Christ has no body now, but yours, says Teresa of Avila. Every time people walk through our doors, see us serving out in the community, or know you are trying to follow Jesus, they will wonder in some way: is this really Jesus? Let’s live in such a way that they have no doubt.

See you Sunday,