Monday, May 2, 2016

Greater Things

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:43-51 

We live in a world where the miraculous has become common place. We have devices and use tools daily that we couldn't have imagined ten years ago. And we have an African American president, who has been the an icon of inclusion and grace. We now live in times when people are accepted as they are and there are laws to protect their place in society. Yet, we also know that the backlash against inclusion by race and gender are terrible. And the devices that we use daily are also used to bully people and destroy lives. What humans have created, the seemingly miracle devices always have down sides, great cost and challenges.

Jesus calls Philip and Philip in turn, invites his friend to meet Jesus. Nathanael is a plain talker and shoots from the hip. He wonders how Jesus could have seen him and known him. Jesus promises him great things ahead as disciples. The promises of God differ from the promises of humanity. There is no downside in the miracles and gifts God gives to us. There is no exclusions, fine print or cost. God always moves us to justice and inclusion, no matter how hard the world fights back. We are invited to imagine what is possible when we live the love of God everyday.

Today I ask God to help me follow Jesus. May we live the love we have been given, forgiving everyone and making room for the excluded, the different, and the confusing. May miracles work through us as we get out of the way and let God bring love and justice forth in our time.

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