Monday, January 10, 2011

"What Are We Looking For?"

I am wondering if you have ever experienced the same strange phenomenon I have. You walk to the refrigerator, open the door, and stare endless into the selection of food items. Your mind and time seem to come to a complete stop. Food items you know that are in there because you put them in there are the object of your undivided attention. Nothing really is being processed through your conscious you just freeze looking confused. Sometimes this occurs when I am famished. Hungry, I need to eat, I want to eat, but I can’t seem to make up my mind. Other times this occurs when I’m not hungry, I just felt this strange urge to the refrigerator and hope a desire hits me. Again out of habit, I find myself with the door open, the light and cold air blowing in my face, looking like a zombie staring at food products. When I seem to be locked in time, someone will ask the question to bring me back to reality, “What are you looking for?”

When we open up the door of our lives, of our relationships, of our spiritual connectedness do we ask ourselves, “What are we looking for?” or do we wait for others to ask us, "what are we looking for?"
"What are you looking for?" Jesus asks the two disciples in the first chapter of the gospel of John. Now, "What are you looking for?" is a fairly strange question when you think about it. The logical question would be, "What do you want?" Maybe this isn't a story about what people want. The word for staying and for remaining in Greek is the same word-meno-and it's used in this story five times in very quick succession. Twice John says the Spirit came to Jesus and remained. The two disciples asked, "Where are you staying?" They go and see "where he was staying and they stayed with him that day."
Remain. Remain. Stay. Stay. Stay.
Could this story be telling us something the disciples don't know yet themselves? What people are looking for is not information, answers to questions such as "Who is Jesus?" or "Is this the one?" Or "Am I right about this church business?" Not even the answer to the question of why stories of meeting this man have captured the human heart for generations.
What we are all looking for without even knowing it is a place to stay, a place to remain always. Jesus is that place, a person who is himself a home, a place to belong, and a whole way of life. Jesus knows that what the disciples really want is a place to belong. Whatever he sees on the faces of these two men panting in front of him after running down the street, whatever he sees, what he says to them is just right and wonderfully inviting: "Come and see." They do go with him. They end up staying, and his story becomes their way of life. Maybe to find what we are looking for we need to some movement. We need movement in our attitudes, our prejudices, and our preconceived attitudes about people or outcomes. We might need to get our heads out of the refrigerator, close the door, and witness what God is doing around us. When we witness God’s activity, the moment we share what God has done in our lives with others, we become part of God’s story. Being part of Christ’s story may just be what we are looking for, and what satisfies our hunger.
See ya in church but until then take care of yourself and one another.

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