St John 12: 20 – 25
And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Visiting Jerusalem for the Passover, Greek pilgrims asked Philip, ‘Sir, we would see Jesus’. Jesus is the central figure of our Christian faith. How far had the Greeks journeyed? What had they to endure along the way? These are not questions of geography but of the soul. The question of the Greeks is our question also: ‘Sir, we would see Jesus’. The physicist, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a woman who has studied the stars over a lifetime and been entranced by their beauty, says that God is an inward experience. For Burnell, God is in everyone; the essence of God is in everybody. In a fleeting moment, we may glimpse the glory of the universe in the night sky; our hearts be lifted by the melodic song of a blackbird; or we may be truly touched by the unexpected kindness of a stranger; but in all these things the experience, the encounter, is within us, in the consciousness, in the soul. God is an inward experience. In her address to the nation on Sunday evening, Her Majesty the Queen spoke of the comfort to be found in prayer and meditation. Whether through the eloquent poetry of Scripture’s pages or the captivating gaze of a gold leaf icon, Jesus reaches out to us. The more deeply we enter into prayer the more silent we become. To ‘see’ Jesus, surely, is to be aware of His Presence, the calm of His soul, and the touch of His hand. In prayer, we are not listening for words spoken to us, but for peace, shalom, wholeness; the soul of Jesus.
Let us pray.
We would see Jesus:
the Mystery of Wisdom made flesh,
the One through whom all things came to be,
the One who, powerless, died on a cross,
the One who makes all things new.
Saturate us, O God;
fill us with the Spirit of Jesus.
May we walk to the point when we will ask, “We want to ‘see’ Jesus”.
In these troubled times,
bless those who are suffering:
dying, bereaved, exhausted,
frustrated, mentally unwell,
Bless our leaders;
grant them strength, wisdom, and courage.